June Swoon marries classic American songwriting with dissonant abstraction, creating a cinematic atmosphere that often explores the psychic underbelly of modern life.
Juli Lydell, the enigmatic force behind June Swoon, grew up in Sacramento, California. She picked up voice and piano as a preschooler, often reprising songs learned by ear. She cut her teeth with musical theater and gospel music before becoming deeply entrenched in the local DIY scene. She worked on various projects ranging from punk, folk, and art pop while experimenting with her individual sound and living throughout the Southwestern U.S. (from her hometown of Sacramento to Austin, Texas, the California-Mexico border in San Diego, and the Appalachian Mountains).
In 2018, while living in Southwestern Virginia, Lydell’s songwriting went through another evolution when her style fused with classic country pop and alt-country. While watching spaghetti westerns, drag shows, and nursing a heartbreak in snowy Appalachia, she began writing what would later become her debut album, “This Town Could Be Big Enough for the Both of Us.”
Lydell drove back across the country to Los Angeles in 2018, where she began the process of self-producing her debut record. The finished product would require 18 months and encompass studio time in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Oakland. The album emerged as deeply influenced by 1960s country pop, 90s dream grunge, and Lynchian Americana: as romantic and hazy as a desert highway at midnight. Lyrically, it explored themes of codependency and the eventual triumph of the self, like a dazed housewife driving a getaway car to the open road. True to her DIY roots, June Swoon became incredibly active on the show circuit in Los Angeles and beyond, bringing catharsis and community to every show. The album’s first pressing sold out on vinyl.
In 2020, Lydell began production on the sophomore June Swoon LP, “A House With Windows Open,” a new dark vision centering around themes of control, ritual, and the body politic. The album began rollout in December 2022 and was released independently July 15, 2023, punctuated by a full U.S. tour. The album follows an anonymous sojourner as she learns to abandon control and surrender to the natural world. The album artwork is a photo of Lydell’s father as a rodeo clown in the 80s, another metaphoric microcosm of the record. The album has been celebrated for its vocal and structural experimentation and its incredible intimacy. With each June Swoon release and performance, we are invited to witness Lydell’s continual self-undoing and metamorphosis.