Juliette Commagere brought back the keytar from the ’80s as vocalist of the synth pop band Hello Stranger in addition to working with The Bird and the Bee. Juliette’s solo work has, however, taken a somewhat different turn from the indie sound of her previous bands.After breaking out with her solo debut Queens Die Proudly, she is back with its follow-up The Procession. This new album continues the dark and moody style of her first release with moments of exaltation while her vocal work on this album are stellar along with the symphonic backing arrangements.
The Procession projects feelings of isolation and occasionally elation. Epically heavy drums, electronic blips, panning effects, and vocal crescendos add to the ambiance of this album. The vocal chorus in “You” has a beautiful Enya-like sound. Juliette uses fade-in vocal effects that sound like they were played backwards. “How I Look for You” is a stand out track that uses this effect and has a catchy beat. The chorus sounds like a choir of angels lifting you up to heaven.
Juliette Commagere is a classically trained musician and this is apparent in her musical arrangements incorporating horns, strings, piano, and even a mandolin. “Plantsong” features sultry horns, beautiful vocals, and gentle piano and John Hassell adds a sexy muted trumpet into the mix. The music video could show Juliette in a jazzy nightclub atop a piano in an evening dress singing her enticing words to the audience.
Overall, The Procession features songs of aural and ambient beauty. Dreamy, melancholy, and always building emotion, Juliette’s songs evoke a slowly smoldering desire. The album at times can be repetitive and thereby lose its impact but it otherwise is a beautiful and out-of-the-box piece of work.