While ferreting out every Ben Folds song I could find on the Web (circa 2008), I discovered yet another amazing talent in the form of Julia Nunes who did this cover of “Gone” while playing the ukulele (yes, that’s right, the ukulele). Over the years I’ve tuned into her YouTube channel (Jaaaaaaa) to hear as much about her “ride” as her music. You see, Julia Nunes is a force of nature. If her music doesn’t get you then her goofy, exuberant personality and infectious smile most certainly will.

Julia has been singing and writing songs since she was 14 and has been publishing videos on YouTube since 2006 where she has amass a large, dedicated fanbase. Including Ben Folds, who upon seeing her videos, asked her to open at four of his shows. She has since performed with many other artists (e.g. Weezer, Ben Kweller, The Bacon Brothers), produced three albums under her own label Rude Butler Records, and most recently appeared on Conan (her television debut) to perform her latest single “Stay Awake” (below).

On June 11th, 2011, Julia launched a Kickstarter page to raise $15,000 for her fourth album Settle Down (due out today). Within 24 hours she had nearly $19,000 and by the time it was over, she had raised $77,888 from 1,685 pledges. As a result, she spent more time in the studio, hired more musicians, and produced several higher quality videos. The three video vignettes below show off her range from playful to sultry.

You can get her latest album here. Last month, Evan Schlansky on American Songwriter did this interview with Julia Nunes. Worth the read.