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Juliana MacDowell - ' Living For A Saturday Night'

Review by Vai Thomas

One of the more winning combinations in popular music today has been that of the contemporarily relatable lyrical theme over an arrangement that is not necessarily rooted in today’s times (for reference, one may listen to Blinding Lights by The Weeknd). However, it is not quite as simple as it sounds. One has to have the right theme, the appropriate timbre of voice, and the proper balance between creativity and simplicity, among other traits. And above all, it ought to be rendered with a sincerity that surpasses that of any other pop number written in a ‘normal’ arrangement. These traits, in addition to others, are found in droves in Juliana MacDowell’s peppy offering ‘Living For A Saturday Night’.

Written in the key of C major, ‘Living For A Saturday Night’ is an energetic addition to the country-pop genre – with a dash of classic rock – and part of MacDowell’s upcoming album ‘Big Old Yellow Moon’. The lyrical theme is one that’s instantly relatable – looking forward to the weekend – hence the title. Therefore, the onus falls upon the performer to make it sound unique, and MacDowell does not disappoint.

The first two lines of the song are enough to keep the listener’s attention arrested throughout – “Feel like I’ve been in a jail all week long, You read my meal you know I eat so wrong”. The lyrics do a stupendous job at establishing the right balance between creativity and simplicity – creative on account of the unique perspective of the artist, and simplicity on account of the relatability. The arrangement, chord placements, and performance of the instruments, right down to the mix, are dynamically well-written and engineered, right from the very opening motif by the electric guitar down to the bass, the keys, and the drum. But it is the powerful vocals of MacDowell, highly reminiscent of Carly Simon (whose honesty in rendition is being looked up to by the likes of Taylor Swift), that truly rounds off the number’s uniqueness. It has the unique quality of being simultaneously punchy and yet down-to-earth, rustic, and yet polished. Oozing with honesty and peppiness, MacDowell renders the lyrics with an effortless energy that is at once foot-tapping and soul-sating. Also, the absence of a bridge in the song structure is a creatively clever move that, in this instance, works on account of the fiery guitar solo, and the need to keep the lyrical theme running.

At a duration of three minutes and eight seconds with a fun-themed music video of its own, ‘Living For A Saturday Night’ is a winner in its own right. Nostalgic and forward-looking at once, MacDowell’s number is a celebration of what was, and what is to come – and written for the listener – irrespective of age, gender, or location.


About Juliana MacDowell Juliana is a sonically sensational and sensitive singer-songwriter who unflaggingly delivers spirited performances at every show. She splits her time between the hills and hollers of Loudoun County, Virginia and the riotous rock that is Key West. When not performing with illustrious D.C. guitarist, Mike Ault, or her band, The Agreeables, Juliana works on her songwriting and recording.

With two albums in the rear-view mirror, she looks ahead to the release of her latest project, recorded in the hallowed halls of Ocean Way on Nashville's Music Row and produced by multi-Grammy winning producer/engineer, Bil VornDick (Alison Krauss, Bob Dylan, Ralph Stanley, Bela Fleck). "Big Old Yellow Moon" offers a soul-pleasing palette of mini-masterpieces spanning from beguiling ballads to southern-swamp blues.


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