Juletta & Ishan
The music of Juletta and Ishan balances between intimacy and expanse. On their debut album If I Never Hit Land, the two New York City artists unearth new ground in their experimentation with sound and emotion. Produced and written entirely by the pair, the freewheeling and ethereal project is a tale of transformation at its core.
Born and raised on a small farm in Northern California, Juletta, real name Madeline DeWalt, was raised in a musical household. Growing up she performed with her sister at local restaurants around their hometown and would spend summers playing in music circles with her cousins. After high school, DeWalt spent a year living in Italy, before moving to New York City to study music. During Juletta’s move, her sister fell sick with a mental illness. Reflecting on the experience she says, “It’s easy to see transformation in retrospect, but you just feel like everything is coming apart while you’re in it. I was undergoing a turbulent process of independence at the time. My understanding of the world was shattering.”
Ishan, who hails from a small suburb in upstate New York, also grew up in a household that loved music, especially Bollywood and Disco, but choosing to make it full time was something that neither he nor his family expected. Things changed after he produced a mixtape with his friends in high school.“It was awful,” he says “but that didn’t matter. Once I started producing I basically couldn’t stop.” In 2015 Ishan moved to New York City and began working with DeWalt three years later.
Over the past two years the pair have released a alternative r&b EP “Wild Nature” and a string of singles under Juletta’s name that gained attention from Milk Magazine, Paper Magazine and the Fader. As they continued to work together, their sound expanded to incorporate elements of hip hop, deep house and electronic music, eventually culminating in If I Never Hit Land, a sprawling 12-song album that explores growing pains, familial relationships, anger and instinct, shedding skin, forgiveness and higher powers.