"Julia Othmer's CD Oasis Motel is remarkable for several reasons - the most obvious being that it's hard to believe this is her first release. With ten original tracks of clear, crystalline vocals that evoke melodic sounds reminiscent of Patsy Kline to Anne De Franco [sic]. Othmer shows how music is meant to be made."
-Brandon Whitehead, EKC online, Feb. 2006
"imagine it on the radio...a very nice debut."
- Amy Lotsberg, www.collectedsounds.com, Feb. 2006
"Her songwriting is top-notch and she never seems to hold anything back which in this day and age is quite admirable."
-J-Sin, www.smother.net, Feb. 2006
“sophisticated blues-lounge to intimate siren soul-rock to pop loveliness with a jazz-hewn spontaneity.”
June 2005, NOW, Jason Richards.
“A piano-playing siren making a mark with her fiery, passionate performances.”
June 2005, NXNE Festival Guide
Driven to achieve success in a way “mama and dad would be proud”, music felt like a “guilty pleasure” for Julia. Growing up in a family of teachers, tailors, and shrinks, being a musician was “simply not a viable option, not even something I ever considered for a career.” For the first part of her life Julia Othmer relied on music only as a personal outlet. Craving music, Julia began training at 7 as a classical pianist, also studying flute, violin and piccolo.
She went to Columbia University, majoring in Anthropology, all while indulging in her first love by playing in bands. Speaking with her one Tuesday, her mother noted she was excited about all her musical endeavors but hadn’t once mentioned her looming thesis deadline. “So why not graduate early and concentrate on what you love?” her mother chided. Julia did exactly that. She graduated early and began to teach music at an inner city YWCA. After some time, a conversation with the Dalai Lama and many late nights working on her own tunes, an opportunity to record a demo with Myron Dove (formerly of Santana) arose. Julia grabbed it. “These kids who I was hoping to inspire to follow their dreams turned around and inspired me,” she explains with a gentle, grateful smile.
The first song on her demo “Mission Control” won “Best Rock Song” in Philadelphia by a NARAS review panel, “Honorable Mention” at the Billboard World Song contest, and was selected as the theme song for Vision Videogames’ Space Station SIM. Her unique style and voice has been cultivated in part through playing in her “homebases” of New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Kansas City. She has performed at such venues as Philadelphia's World Cafe Live, WXPN’s All About the Music Festival, the TLA, and the Tin Angel, New York City's Cutting Room, Bitter End and Fez Under Time Cafe. Julia was nominated at the Philly Music Awards for "Best Female Entertainer,” and "Best Female Vocalist." She has shared the stage with a range of artists including John Waite, Amos Lee, Regina Spektor, and eastmountainsouth.
To understand Julia Othmer’s intimate relationship to her music one must watch her captivating live performance. To witness every note tickle her every nerve ending, escaping in what translates to your own ecstasy off her tongue, one can not help but be infected by her skillful passion. Watching her writhe, explore and belt out her unique songs while she bangs away on the keys, you’ll find yourself oddly jealous of both her keyboard and the stool on which she perches, all while connecting to her honesty, her distinctive perspective, and her eloquence. Julia succeeds in using her entire body to express the music she feels.
Described as “sophisticated blues-lounge to intimate siren soul-rock to pop loveliness with a jazz-hewn spontaneity”, her debut album Oasis Motel is just the beginning for this quickly ascending artist. She recorded in LA with producer Michael Blum (Madonna, Roger Daltrey, Suicidal Tendencies) and an impressive array of musicians including Johnny Griparic (Carole King), Herman Jackson (Stevie Wonder, Outkast), Matt Laug (Alanis Morissette, Slash’s Snakepit), and Dean Pleasants (Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves) Oasis Motel is being released in early 2006.
Julia’s sound will no doubt be described only by an association with her name, as one would describe Tori Amos or Natalie Merchant, as she transcends all generic labels with her intensely personal, sensual, and honest feel.