Julie Margat has recorded music under the name of Lispector since 1996. This freethinking globetrotter from the south of France has translated her homemade one-woman-quiet-riot into numerous self-released cassettes and privately pressed releases, armed with a handful of Yamaha keyboards, a sequencer, a drum machine and an electric guitar.

With a handful of albums under her belt, including her 2002 debut “Human problems and how to solve them” (self-released on her own Ponytail Records whilst living in New York), and her “Young, Wild & Lonely” split album with the elegant Maison Neuve (with whom she created the Parisian label Sauvage Records for the occasion), Julie released her “Guide to personal happiness” on Andy Votel’s Twisted Nerve Records in 2008, a collection of 4 and 8 track home recordings brimming with minimalist rhythms, careful arrangements, uneven guitars and dusty synths. 

In 2010, Lispector released her online “jukebox” where most of her discography (hundreds of songs including her early demos) could be listened to for free. She also featured as a guest vocalist on casiotone for the painfully alone’s album “Vs. Children” and on The Go! Team’s “Rolling Blackouts”.

She released her “Outsider Art erapy” in 2011 and made a video for each song on the album. That was the start of another project of hers: making videos to illustrate her songs. Made of archive films, lispector’s videos somehow respond to the lyrics, in a funny and quirky way. A couple of years later, she would make karaoke versions of her videos for some of her rare live performances.
In 2012, she revisited some of her songs on stage with some friends from the Bordeaux music scene. A small french tour followed with the release of "Life Without A Map”. In 2014 she released " The Cult of Less", another collection of demos. Both artwork covers were designed by friends.

Besides her solo project, Julie had been working since 2010 on another project with DJ Dom Thomas (Finders Keepers). The duo called themselves Whyte Horses and had their first EP "The Snowfalls" (CRC Music) released in 2014.
In 2015 the band released the private press of the album "Pop or Not", which include a couple of revisited Lispector songs (Peach Tree Street, Alone at Last, When I was a Scout, Nature's Mistakes), plus some songs co-written with Ian Parton and Dom Thomas (Astrologie Sidérale, La Couleur Originelle) that Julie wrote and sang in french for the first time. After a BBC Radio 6 Music live session with Marc Riley and the band's first live shows, and unable to fit in the band's ambitious journey in the music industry, Julie decided to quit the band, a couple of months before the official release of what would be a critically acclaimed debut album. 

Back in Bordeaux and back to her homemade records, Julie amused herself in covering some songs she liked and self-released an EP called "Dancin' In the Nite”, which includes a couple of video shreds (Bruce Springsteen, Alessi Brothers, Billy Idol, e Strokes...) 

Today Lispector keeps recording her songs at home.

Although the instruments and the recording equipment have changed, 20 years a er the recording of her rst tape, the joy of experimenting with music and words remains the same. She is currently working on what will be her 22nd solo effort. 

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Stakhanoviste de l’enregistrement de salon (4-pistes, 8-pistes et dorénavant multipistes), Lispector est le projet musical de Julie Margat. Cette globe-trotteuse originaire du sud de la France élabore depuis une vingtaine d’années sa révolution silencieuse sous forme  d’instantanés pop bricolés.

“Human Problems and How to Solve Them” paraît en 2002 lorsqu'elle habite à New York. En 2006 sort“Young Wild & Lonely” : split album avec l’élégant groupe parisien Maison Neuve sur le label Sauvage Records, qu’ils créent ensemble pour l’occasion. “Guide To Personal Happiness”, compilation de ses démos 4-pistes pensée par Andy Votel de Twisted Nerve / Finders Keepers sort deux ans plus tard en Angleterre. En 2010 on la croise en guest chez casiotone for the painfully alone sur l’album “Vs. Children” ou encore sur le “Rolling Blackouts” de The! Go Team. Dans le même temps elle met en ligne son “jukebox” : sa discographie complète en mp3s sur son site web. Armée tout à tour d’une guitare électrique, de quelques claviers, voire d’un séquenceur, d’une drum machine ou d'un ordinateur, elle distribue de manière confidentielle ses dizaines de cdrs et autres albums digitaux, pour l’amour de la pop. Julie fonde en parallèle le groupe imaginaire Whyte Horses avec le DJ mancunien Dom Thomas. Elle participe à l’écriture et l’enregistrement de Pop Or Not, le premier album du groupe, sorti en 2016. On la retrouve également parolière invitée chez Electric-Electric (“Black Corée”), The! Go Team (“Yé Yé Yamaha”) ou Kumisolo (“La Tête Ailleurs”).

Aujourd’hui Lispector travaille sur ce qui sera son 22ème effort solo.

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Bedroom musical recordings since 1996 boasts the front page of her website. To say this gives no hint of the wonderment that waits in store, just one click of the mouse away, is an understatement. The only reason I haven’t featured Lispector on these pages before is because I’ve been struggling for months to come to terms with the sheer scale of Julie Margat’s music. If you haven’t listened in already, you’re in for a real special time. This is the greatest hidden music you’ll encounter all year.

There is such depth, such diversity of sound here. On Julie’s ‘Lispector Jukebox’ page alone there are over 500 songs to listen to, and – I’m not sure, maybe I still quite can’t believe it – download. These are four-track and eight-track home recordings, originating from somewhere within the South of France and New York, recorded with obvious delight and surprise and meticulous craft. Not a moment is wasted in the creation of magic. Please tell me that Julie is already way famous and renowned among the well-heeled articulators of taste. Please tell me that. There’s no way music so diverse, so eloquently and lovingly expressed, could have remained in secret for… what? FIFTEEN YEARS. Julie writes songs with titles like ‘Eating Dragoons’ and ”Teenage Rebels Live In Hell’ and ‘Give Me Your Beer’, and they linger in your memory for an age after the last cheeky drum machine has been switched off, long after the final sequenced guitar loop has subsided. Julie writes songs with imaginative backings and odd little tape loops and synthetic strings that make me think a little of yr Pikelet, yr Ill Ease, yr kyü – but she’s way, I dunno, herself. (Not least, she is French: you can hear the coldwave influence.) The bass thumps merrily like yr Go! Team, yr My Disco, yr Rihanna. Sometimes, I think of Beat Happening. Other time, Kid Koala. The voice is softened sometimes, brash other times but not very often: Lispector’s music always feels startlingly intimate, you’re so privileged to be listening in. It’s a little bit late 80s Olympia, for sure. Guitar fuzz and distort gently, but not always. Photographs are Polaroids. Music is blurry snapshots of magical moments in time. Music is wonderment.

Her lyrics are neat, too:

One mademoiselle and her red keytar. “You can change the way you look/But not the books you’ve read,” she sings over low notes that wheeze like old air conditioning. “Like a ping-pong player, play along with someone/Roll him into a ball, go along with the game/Kick the ball about, you know it’s a gamble/Take it anyway, it may pay off one day,” she adds, over a spiderweb rhythm track. And when was the last time you had a new favourite lyricist? (from Plan B Magazine #30)

To tell the truth, I’m a little overwhelmed: some of these songs (the Willy Wonka-esque ‘Ice Cream Man’ from the Twisted Nerve album Guide To Personal Happiness, for example) are the equal of a Daniel Johnston (say), but with a far richer, more complex (but never knowingly smart) sound. I cite Daniel simply as a guide to the scale of Julie’s recorded work, not for its musical content: for the fact it exists within a universe of its own, to indicate the strength of her songwriting, for the way the songs feel so personal. Musically, I’m not sure where the touchstones lie: this is probably because Julie has SO MUCH to offer, SO MUCH recorded, SO MUCH quality. Five hundred songs, and I haven’t yet found one I don’t think is less than magical. I listen to a song like ‘The Game’ and think, maybe there’s a little bit of Fall Of Saigon or Young Marble Giants in there, or … but to throw comparisons around is to devalue the music on both sides. This is…

This is the DIY tape culture of the early 80s brought home to roost.

(The aforementioned Twisted Nerve album is a marvellous place to start.)

Everett True / Collapse Board