The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: Julia Rainer

By: Alexis V.

November 15, 2017

Julia Rainer began her music career in a puppet band at the age of 10, and “after hours of listening to Hank Williams and Leonard Cohen,” taking what she absorbed, and fine-tuning her songwriting skills on earlier EPs, the burgeoning Philly singer-songwriter beautifully pieces together a lifetime of experiences and emotions into her deeply personal first LP, a release “about the people, places and things you carry around with you.” Admittedly, Rainer was kind of on our periphery before, but with Spirits (Creep Records), she totally has our attention, and deserves yours as well. Dig into her latest below, and take a moment to learn more about our Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner below.

The Deli: How did you start making music? 

Julia Rainer: The first song I ever wrote was part of a puppet band I was in when 10. After that, I started playing in human bands, and eventually sought to make music on my own, after hours of listening to Hank Williams and Leonard Cohen.

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?

JR: A need to retell and process my own experiences and the ability to fully do so solely through music-making is what influences me. As a guide for this practice, I look to artists like Neil Young, Etta James, Joni Mitchell, Nico, Aimee Mann, Cat Power, Jenny Lewis, and Mitski.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

JR: Been really getting into HEAVN by Jamila Woods the last few weeks. Also, Pine Grove, Lady Lamb, the RENT soundtrack, and always Rilo Kiley.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

JR: The first concert I ever attended was the late and great Tom Petty, at the E-Center in August of 1995. My dad took me! Pretty sure the first CD I bought with my own money was Floored by Sugar Ray… which is slightly embarrassing.

TD: What do you love about Philly?

JR: I love how it feels like a big small town. I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life, and it feels so much like home. But there is still so much of it I don’t know, or have yet to discover.

TD: What do you hate about Philly?

JR: Sometimes I lament the fact that I love it so much… Makes it hard to go anywhere else.

TD: What are your plans for 2018?

JR: To collaborate with artists and friends on music videos, to tour, to become more self-fulfilled, and to write another record.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?

JR: Performing my song "Can’t Survive” at only a few days sober for the other patients in rehab.

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli?

JR: I’m a turkey girl, for sure. My favorite food is a Thanksgiving sandwich. It’s not a deli, but the “Stuffin Cranberry” at The Original Turkey in the Reading Terminal is my idea of heaven.