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The cliché “music is a universal language” holds true, but it’s almost undeniable that music is perceived differently by everyone. For some, songs may resurface old memories; for others, there may be heavy associations with people. Sounds may only create colorful landscapes or give way to smells for those who have synesthesia, or others may group songs together by a similar feeling they channel. But sometimes musicians have a specific intention for the way their sound is meant to be felt, and they hit that nail on the head, making the reception of their sounds as close to a universal feeling as possible.

Philly-via-NJ indie rock band Path’s atmospheric aesthetic fits the criteria of this specific delivery, with a precise warmth and airy nature to their sound. Their latest single, “Julian,” surfaces nostalgia and creates a blank canvas for the listener to fill in their own experiences. 

The five-piece band led by producer and songwriter Sam Keeler has a pointedly emotional and dreamy soundscape, seen on their two self-produced LP’s. Their new release “Julian” features warm looping guitars and airy vocals, creating a contrasting soundscape of dazzling clarity and fuzziness. Indie-rock, soft folk and the band’s self-described “love rock” all feel like appropriate labels for the track, but an enchanting breath of fresh mountain air could also serve to describe the start of what listeners feel as they fill in the rest of the gaps. In a press release, Keeler touched on this concept of applying subjective experience to the initial ambiance of “Julian”:

“The name ‘Julian’ is used as a poetic device to personify specific deep-seated emotions. The song explores the way that love and loss pull at our heartstrings – and throws enough ambiguity into the mix so that the listener can fill in the blanks with their own personal experiences. The song is designed to let the listener tell themselves their own story.”

The way you choose to let “Julian” hit your ears is up to you, but its surface-level calamity will be sure to at least introduce you to an initial breezy place of bliss. Listen to “Julian” here

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