In a simultaneously surprising and unsurprising move, Maryland lo-fi indie pop collective Julia Brown have released their sophomore album An Abundance of Strawberries for free on Dropbox, posting the link to their Facebook page on the last day of July. Frontman Sam Ray has been known to release albums by surprise and for free, although almost no news of the record had surfaced in previous months, and likewise, no prior announcements were made about the album's release date. On July 15, however, in a Facebook post revealing the album artwork, Ray asked fans to email him for a copy of the album. The free download of the album is now publicly available at:
This marks Ray's second full length release this year, after Ricky Eat Acid's Three Love Songs--an ambient solo record--in January. Ray also released a Ricky Eat Acid EP entitled sun over hills in July.
Julia Brown recently returned to live performance after a brief break while Sam Ray was touring with his newly reformed punk band Teen Suicide. Since the release of their previous LP (to be close to you) early last year, Julia Brown has taken on the form of a musical collective, incorporating a self-described "rotating cast" of members. These include staples of Ray's projects such as Caroline White (also of the lo-fi folk project Infinity Crush), Alec "Torts" Simke, and John Toohey (both of Teen Suicide). The Julia Brown project kept a fairly low profile whilst working on their follow-up album, except for the following Facebook post from March:
"to anyone wondering, we're recording an album. we've been working on writing it for over a year and started recording last summer. some of the songs on it i've been saving for years. one of them i first started thinking about in 2007. i don't know when it will be done. it's maybe halfway finished. a ton of people play on it (so far).
we're not really a "band" anymore maybe but just a lot of likeminded friends coming together (and vanishing) to try and make something we love.
it doesn't sound like anything we've recorded before in any band, and it hopefully won't really sound like anything else when it's done.
it's not being recorded in a studio or with a boombox or really in any one specific way. it's not 'lofi' and it's not a reaction to 'lofi' either.
i've never felt so passionate about a project before and i've never even thought about creating something as personal as this. i feel very strongly about the songs we're writing and i hope you do too whenever you hear them.
thanks for all your support last year & hopefully this one too
-sam & julia brown