Juliana Hatfield on Her Olivia Newton-John Covers Album: 'I Wanted to Escape From All the Horrible Negativity' | billboard
From her days as a member of indie anchors Blake Babies and Lemonheads up through her ongoing solo career, Juliana Hatfield has been a quietly steady presence in the underground pop-rock world. While it’s been a while since she hit the commercial heights of her ‘90s peak when the Juliana Hatfield Trio's Become What You Are and her 1995 solo effort Only Everything landed her on the Billboard 200, she has maintained a dedicated fan base thanks to steady touring and a consistency of vision as she combines personal explorations with more universal concerns.
More recently, her 2017 release Pussycat was an album-length rebuke to our current president, with sharp lyrics and a welcoming musical jangle...
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SONGS WE LOVE: JULIANA HATFIELD, 'A LITTLE MORE LOVE' | NPR
Once we reach adulthood, it's easy to dismiss childhood musical obsessions as frivolous rather than formative. That enthusiasm can be seen as embarrassing, or some form of misguided, or infantile, admiration. It's far more challenging to take the uncynical view and honor the passion behind the musical fixations of our youth.
For Juliana Hatfield, one of those enduring artists is Olivia Newton-John, the musician and actress whose supple, golden voice made her a country and pop megastar. The Boston-based musician's forthcoming album, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, is a heartfelt tribute, with an emphasis on Newton-John's '70s and '80s high points...
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Kyle Meredith...with Juliana Hatfield
Listen to this September 2017 interview with Juliana discussing Pussycat and the 25th anniversary of Hey Babe and her solo career.
Watch Piper interview Juliana at KidsInterviewBands.com
"Pussycat is the kind of bluntly political record Hatfield used to be knocked for shying away from. At the height of her 1990s stardom, Hatfield was dismissed in the more activist corners of the music world as a lightweight (never mind that her songs frequently explored the ways society needles and dismisses women). She's spent her career in an often thankless middle ground, too feminine for the masculine music press, yet not punk enough for the riot grrls. But Pussycat lends the case for a critical reappraisal. Now would be an ideal time for one..."
"Hatfield's fury works in her favor. Even when the tempos are slightly slow or the guitar hooks charm, there's a nerviness to the performance that's bracing. And, beneath that kinetic energy lies a wealth of smart, barbed songs. What impresses about Pussycat overall is how there's no separation between the personal and the political...the specificity of her outrage makes Pussycat an unusually powerful protest album."
"The current resident of the White House will likely inspire plenty of angry art..credit Boston indie-rock institution Juliana Hatfield with landing the first full-force blow. Pussycat is a relentless, unabashed and unvarnished reaction to the Trump presidency; a frequently gruesome, sometimes funny and even occasionally hopeful assault on the assaulter-in-chief."
"Pussycat..is not so much a response to Donald Trump as it is a channeling of the long-held, easily-accessed, unassuageable fury one feels in the dominant culture of sexism, abuse, lookism, and degradation which Trump—though it of course predates him—has come to represent, perpetuate, minimize, sanitize, and reinforce. The fourteen songs that comprise Pussycat are not arguing for the newness or the arrival of anything; they are phoenixes rising from the known and familiar fire of what it is to live in a recursive, crushing, enduring patriarchy. Which brings me to my second point: to classify Pussycat as "anti-Trump" or even to characterize it less generally as "a political album" is to imply, however tacitly, that such subject matter is somehow new terrain for Hatfield, whereas any student of the music she's put out into the world in the thirty years she's been a performer will tell you: she's never been anything but political."
—Vincent Scarpa, Performer magazine