With her delicate yet commanding vocals, Julie Mintz has a rare ability to turn the most nuanced of feelings into songs that captivate. On her full-length debut, the L.A.-based singer/songwriter muses on longing and disillusionment and romantic confusion, an exploration made all the more enthralling by her moody and luminous take on Gothic Americana. But in choosing a title for the album, Mintz landed on Abandon All Hope of Fruition— a phrase that speaks to the transformative power in trading yearning for acceptance.
Born and raised in the South Texas city of Corpus Christi, Mintz grew up on the bittersweet balladry of classic country artists. “My dad loved Patsy Cline—her greatest-hits album was always playing when I was a kid, so now my ear naturally goes to that old-school-country chord progression and the melody that comes along with it,” says Mintz. Learning to play piano as a little girl and later picking up a guitar as well, Mintz also held true to country’s emotional tradition and gravitated toward “sad songs about love and heartache” as she began crafting her own material. Through the years, she’s also found the mood of her songwriting deeply informed by her first-ever experience in the workforce: an after-school job working in a funeral home on the Gulf of Mexico, which included driving a hearse with a body in the back. “I was a cheerleader in high school, so I used to show up at the funeral home in my cheerleading uniform,” Mintz recalls. “At the time it was all really scary to me, but I think it ties into me eventually writing this very Gothic music and this thread throughout my songs about the idea of dying alone.
While attending Emory University, Mintz studied neuroscience and behavioral biology, but ultimately decided to forgo medical school in favor of pursuing her music career. Still, Mintz points out that both fields of study have shaped her approach to songwriting. “I’ve always had this desire to understand the inner workings of my mind and other people’s minds, and that’s so much of what I’m doing with my songs—just trying to work out those curiosities,” she says. Along with releasing The Thin Veil, Mintz has spent much of the past few years on the road with Moby, recently joining him onstage at the Hollywood Bowl for a show presented by legendary English DJ Pete Tong, in addition to appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
In reflecting on the emotional experience of making the album, she expresses a hope that the songs offer some sense of solace to each listener. “It seems like a lot of people struggle with the same kind of issues I’ve written about, so I’d love for the album to help them to appreciate the present instead of being stuck in hoping for something different in the future,” says Mintz. “But at the same time, I’d also love for them to just feel like someone else understands what they’re going through, and to take comfort in realizing that they’re not alone in that feeling.”
Moby recently appeared alongside Mintz on the famed Build series in the first Build All Access series which saw a sold out crowd take over New York to see the two playing in support of her debut album