Song Focus: Natasha Jane Julian offers a rallying cry for humanity on the album track ‘Beauty That Lies’ 

On the title track from her long-awaited debut album, Natasha Jane Julian casts a critical eye over the limited worldview of organized religion – but also offers an alternative for those who want to find inner peace within their lives

Natasha Jane Julian continues to be one of the most surprising and exciting artists currently working in the music industry. 

The California artist, who began sharing her music on streaming services back in 2018, has emerged as a force in the ambient/trip-hop music genre in recent years, with her songs frequently playlisted on significant sites. However, her artistry and subtle songwriting have also meant that she requires repeated listening to capture the full potency of her words. 

‘Beauty That Lies’ – the title track from her debut album, which came out in May – is a case in point. 

What strikes you straight away about ‘Beauty That Lies’ is that it seemed coded as an ambient song, even as it completely upends this song structure. If some ambient songs can be accused of playing it safe – turning themselves into background music with vapid lyrical content and tired themes – then Natasha Julian has injected the form with new life, switching things up completely. 

The ‘beauty that lies’ in the song is religion. Natasha makes this startlingly clear from the very first lines of the song: “Some say that religion is good/But a good f**king disguise.” Right away, you’re left with little doubt that these lyrics carry a heavier weight than other ambient songs you might be used to hearing.

But, despite its focus on religion, ‘Beauty That Lies’ isn’t some bitter attack. Instead, Natasha makes an honest, open-hearted rallying cry for a more sensual form of spirituality that isn’t built on hierarchical structures, archaic traditions, or established religious orders as they currently exist. Natasha sings: “I’m going to wash away the beauty that lies,” your ear is immediately drawn to that image of washing something away. In this case, ‘wash away’ feels more effective than taking a pitchfork to it or raging against it. For Natasha, the way to negate the problems caused by religion is to replace it with a deeper, more connected form of spirituality. This song has a lesson for those who care to hear it. 

Overall, the song fits with the broader themes of the album itself. Combined with songs like Beat For My Bones, I Am Human, and Swimming In The Sand, it becomes clear that Beauty That Lies is an album about finding the spiritual world within the confines of the physical world. 

In interviews, Natasha said her songwriting offers “substance and sophistication.” This comes through clearly on the title track of her debut album. It’s worth listening to this song to understand its full power. 

“Beauty That Lies” is out now and is streaming across major music platforms. Find out more here

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