Julien Chang (pronounced “chong”) is a classically trained university student from Baltimore. He just signed to Transgressive and is today sharing his first single, “Of The Past.” The track merges the Prince-influenced instrumentals of Blood Orange with the vocal style of Tame Impala. It’s psychedelic and jazzy yet wide and wavering, incorporating several different tonalities.
Due in part to Chang’s expertise, the blend of diverse elements feels seamless and effortless. Deeper synths do some of the grounding work, as a soaring guitar riff lunges forward with a jazzy bass thump on half of the down beats. An unexpected piano solo by Jeheiel Smith adds a layer of sweetness and builds into a scale run that travels as far up and down the keys as possible. This command of the keys is only strengthened as Smith repeats the run in different intervals. After making such a fascinating first impression, it’s exciting to imagine where Chang will head next.
Over email, Chang shared this statement:
“Of The Past” is a dance tune. I got most of the synth sounds from this old Microkorg that my dad had been keeping in a minor collection of old and pretty beaten up vintage gear. I had a friend from school play some jazz piano for it because we both ended up staying late after class one day and I had a mic. It came together organically, almost by chance.
Check out “Of The Past” below, where you can also find Chang’s upcoming tour dates (tickets here).
10/15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
10/28 – London, UK @ Bermondsey Social Club
10/29 – London, UK @ Servant Jazz Quarters
10/31 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique Witlof Bar
11/01 – Berlin, DE @ Musik & Frieden
“Of The Past” is out now on Transgressive Records.