Julia Bardo was born and raised in Brescia, a small city in northern Italy, where she sang and wrote lyrics for a local band between shifts working at her father’s bar. She felt uninspired by the music she was contributing to and the life she was leading, so she packed her bags for Manchester three years ago, despite knowing no one in the city, and hasn’t looked back.
Her debut EP Phase is out March 6 via Wichita Recordings.
(Photo Credit: Ashton Hugh)
“Please Don’t Tell Me” is one of those mystical songs that seems to fall out of an artist’s brain, through her guitar and into the room in near perfect form, oozing with attitude and excitement. It’s the type of song that feels already written, you just need to find the parts it’s asking for.
I both admire and envy Julia for this ability to write beautiful songs with such coherence and honesty — and not in her native tongue. I am also infatuated by the purity and strength of her voice, and how it fills any space we share together. One day I asked her if she would play some new material for me and “Please Don’t Tell Me” was the very first song she played. I was immediately excited by the style of the verses and the vocal line of the chorus. We decided that we would work on it together, and our musical partnership started like that. We clicked straight away and I understood her vision. I could feel the drive and direction coming from within Julia, and I was enthused by the passion she had for her music.
The more Julia played it, the more completely the song was formed. I could hear very clearly the bass, drums and lead guitar parts in my head. We started recording in my bedroom and before we knew it, the demo was finished — it only took three hours. We felt such fluidity and harmony working together on “Please Don’t Tell Me” that Julia asked me to produce it if we got the chance to record in a proper studio; I was honored (and admittedly a little out of my depth).
Around two months later, I bumped into Martin King, who owns Eve Studios in Bredbury (my musical haven and birthplace of Silver Dollar Moment). I spoke to him about Julia and told him we were recording together. By beautiful coincidence, Eve was free for one day only. Martin graciously gifted us that day to come in and record. With only four days to prepare, Julia chose to record “Please Don’t Tell Me.” I asked Sid Hand-Halford from The Orielles, whose drumming style I love, to play on the kit for us. And Joel Anthony Patchett, who worked on both of the Orielles’ records, to engineer. Julia donned the Eve Studios’ Labcoat and we started experimenting. My main focus was that Julia’s voice retained your attention and that we created an image around her rather than over her. I also really pushed for the outro to be as sassy as fucking possible — like: just please don’t tell her, OK?
After 14 hours of recording we had finished the song pretty much the way you hear it today on its release. I am very excited for you to listen.
— Henry Carlyle-Wade, The Orielles
(Photo Credit: Ashton Hugh)