May 24, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Tanya Bhatt
Miami-based singer/songwriter Julia Bhatt is already reinventing, showing new angles to her burgeoning indie-inflected style. At only 19 she’s now fresh off of her debut EP, 2 Steps Back, which saw her exploring a diverse mix of sounds ranging from acoustic pop replete with Latin beats to driving indie rock. Most recently though, Bhatt has dived into synth pop with her latest track, “1:30.” Now she’s also shared the accompanying animated video, premiering with Under the Radar.
“1:30” is somewhat of a departure for Bhatt, a self-described experiment exploring pop stylings with the assistance of producer Elliot Jacobson (Ingrid Michaelson, Elle King). 2 Steps Back already showed an exploratory spirit to Bhatt’s music, but the added synth pop elements take the song in a different direction entirely. Clocking in at only 1:30, the track wastes no time introducing itself with heady layers of synths and effects-laden vocals. Bhatt’s moody delivery sets a subdued mood, relying on percussive rhythms to add a darker edge to the track. Meanwhile Bhatt reflects on the pressure of creation and draining social media hierarchies. As Bhatt describes, the song is about “Feeling less than perfect and watching from the outside when you feel you could be doing more.”
Bhatt says of the track, “This song is clearly very different from my other stuff. I was messing around with some synth sounds and me and Elliot just kept adding on. It’s also kind of an experiment, in my opinion. It’s not like my other stuff, so I wanna see how it compares statistically with my other stuff. I feel like this song reflects modern music, more specifically, modern pop, a little more, and I want to see how generational preference affects the song’s performance.”
For the accompanying animated video, Bhatt once again paired with Madyn Garretson, who previously animated the video for Bhatt’s “Bird Girl.” As Garretson describes, “1:30” is one of my favorite songs Julia has put out yet! Julia and I discussed her inspirations and what kind of video she wanted, and we decided to go for a fantasy/action narrative. The process was challenging in that I wanted to fit the most amount of story I could into a very short song. All in all, this is a video I had a lot of fun animating and I can’t wait to see how it is received!
Check out the song and video below.