What You’re Made Of is Julie Collings follow-up to her third album; A Beat to Follow, recorded in Collings’ home studio with one mic, one guitar, a wooden box and various other pieces of percussion. Collings is back in her studio again for What You’re Made Of, back to her roots where she works best; “100% restorative experience guaranteed” in her own words.
From the soul searching and trying to make sense of life on A Beat to Follow, here Collings has found some answers: her own answers. “These are songs about seeing things for what they really are. Seeing the beauty in the little things and learning to be grateful” writes Collings in her liner notes. That message can definitely be felt listening to the music on this album.
Starting off with upbeat tempo songs like ‘Holy Water’ which is a perfect pop song, one of Collings’ strengths as a songwriter; her recent influences from writing for television can be heard here. ‘It Just Is’ has a gospel-folk feel to it and is a total foot stomper. The record then slowly starts to change pace, with tracks like ‘It’s About to Begin’; folk guitar and a darker tempo. Almost as if Collings is making us close our eyes to adjust our focus again, and not to get too comfortable. If this was intentional track-listing then it worked.
I love ‘Mixtapes’ for the nostalgia, the lyrics, the charm, it’s a great song. I am already imagining hearing and seeing it live. Title track ‘What You’re Made Of’ closes the album and is a thoughtful piece to end on.
I have every confidence in Julie Collings’ song-writing, she manages to put together strong, folk-pop songs with such ease and grace, or at least it seems that way. I can imagine these songs on soundtracks, on the radio, on a stage at a summer festival with the sun going down. And that’s Julie Collings for you; she writes the kind of songs where she’s there with you, seeing the beauty in the little things, just learning to be grateful.
What You’re Made Of is out now and available to buy in both digital and CD formats here: juliecollings.co.uk
Review by Jo Overfield