Julian Talamantez Brolaski embraces old-school country on endearing new album, “It’s Okay Honey”

California-based country singer-songwriter and poet Julian Talamantez Brolaski has just released a classic-style album, “It’s Okay Honey.” Julian sat down recently with @skopemag to talk about this engaging collection of songs.

@skopemag: Tell us about your amazing new album.

Julian: It’s a collection of original country and western songs. The titular song, “It’s Okay Honey,” is about healing, so I guess the argument of the album, part of it anyway, is about the medicinal qualities of song. But there’s also some nonsense songs and other types of songs on the album. And I hope some catchy melodies. There are some really amazing players too, with lap steel, pedal steel, and harmonica, so there’s a real old-school country vibe.

@skopemag: What inspired the song “Goodbye Brother”?

Julian: The guitar riff was inspired by “Lula Walls” by the Carter Family. The opening line—”I ain’t got no job, I ain’t got no home”—was written at a time when those words were true for me. I was heading out on the road, leaving New York, my pals, my band, my relationship, heading back to California. “Brother” was sort of a synecdoche for “everybody,” the everybody I was leaving. There’s a sadness but also an incredible amount of freedom in the song.

@skopemag: What made you choose your album title?

Julian: I like the idea of songs as medicine, and I made the song “It’s Okay Honey” as a remedy to heal myself when I was recovering from a broken hip. Though not every song is about healing, I hope it enacts that. There are songs of both joy and heartbreak on the album—I wanted to represent a spectrum of tempos and feelings.

@skopemag: How would you describe your music to people who haven’t heard it before?

Julian: My songs are traditional-style country and western music, like sad waltzes you can dance to in the kitchen, and some upbeat feel-good numbers you can two-step to. It’s music for singing and dancing. The album is also coming out from Wave Books as a songbook with chords and lyrics so people can play along.