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Disco Ain't Dead: Julian Fulco Perron Returns With His Glammed-out New Single, "All the Lights"
The Denver-based psychedelic maestro follows up last year's excellent 'In My Garden' with new mirrorball-infused tricks.
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I’ve never fully understood the bad rap disco gets. Sure, I could never see John Travolta’s face again and be a-okay. I also totally understand that it tends to be homogenous, and yes, it’s often overly complicated compared to four-piece rock bands, but gatekeeping is so tiring these days. But in these heavy times, sometimes you just have to let it all hang out on the dance floor.
I attended a wedding this past weekend with a seventies theme, and wouldn’t you believe it: the disco selections, and its much cooler parent, funk, were the songs that filled the floor every time. Add in the success of ABBA Voyage, the mo-cap concert featuring every mother’s favorite Swedes, with a dash of younger acts adding it to their repertoire, and it’s pretty apparent that disco is having a bit of a revival.
One of those new artists exploring the genre is a friend of the newsletter, Julian Fulco Parron, whose new single, “All the Lights,” is out today. When we last checked in with Mr. Fulco Perron, his second album, In My Garden, was the late edition to my 2022 year-end review. Here’s what I had to say:
Thanks to a recommendation from John Bear at Westword, Julian Fulco Perron’s In My Garden has dominated my stereo for the past three weeks. The Denver-based songwriter’s second record is the newest edition to my year-end list, proving there is always a late calendar jewel in the mix. Recorded mostly at his home studio, Perron played the majority of the instruments with the help of some hired hand-session musicians. The result is an authentic trip back to the late 60s and early 70s with a psychedelic batch of songs that don’t miss. Perfectly sequenced, In My Garden blossoms with a cacophony of the usual instrumental ingredients, but thanks to endless layers of horns, strings, sitar, ukulele, and Perron’s prized mellotron, it’s one you won’t soon forget. Perron tells me this record was inspired by Friends and Sunflower by The Beach Boys (hence why Bear sent this to me) and the latter-era Beatles. These are valid comparisons, as Perron swings for the bleachers with the harmonies while penning Paul tunes sung with George’s voice. The singles-heavy front half is immediately inviting, with “Can’t Be Trusted Part (A)” and one of the best songs you’ll hear all year in “Steady Hands.” Still, the b-side is just as solid when Perron lets the jams and runtime extend on “Not so Fast” and “Hangin’ On (Through Winter),” being absolute standouts. The vision is wrapped up with a nice bow when closing out with “Can’t Be Trusted (B),” which revisits the opener, now reconstructed with a healthy dose of horns. I cover so many genres here, but In My Garden is the rare record I know all my readers will enjoy. Dive in now and support some truly indie talent in Julian Fulco Perron’s Technicolor world.
Now the Denver-based musician is working on his next record, which will leave the sixties in favor of the “Me Decade” that followed. “All the Lights” is the perfect teaser for such a project - full of strings, a four-on-the-floor beat, and filthy bass grooves - the song does a fantastic job at encapsulating the seventies while including a modern approach to the vocals.
Under the glitz and bop of “All the Lights” lies a message of hope and inspiration, as Perron wrote it, as a guide to coping with depression and anxiety. Through the song’s lyrics, he works through mental health struggles and decides that love will always win.
You can stream “All the Lights” on all major platforms and watch the DIY music video here:
Ultimately, Perron successfully jumps from retro psychedelia to disco, unlike The Beach Boys (get over yourself. This song kicks ass).
Digging “All the Lights” by Julian Fulco Perron? Have a favorite disco song? Let me know in the comments!