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Julianna Barwick


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Louisiana-bred, Brooklyn-based recording artist Julianna Barwick crafts ethereal, largely wordless soundscapes, all of which are built around multiple loops and layers of her angelic voice. Barwick, who credits a rural, church choir upbringing for her unique sound, begins most tracks with a single phrase or refrain, then uses a loop station and the occasional piano or percussive instrument to build the song into a swirling mass of lush, ambient folk. She released her first two collections of songs, the full-length Sanguine and the EP Florine, in 2009 and 2010, respectively, before issuing her Asthmatic Kitty debut, The Magic Place, in 2011. Later that year she released a remix album, Matrimony Remixed, followed by another full-length album in 2013 called Nepenthe.

Lacking definable lyrics, Julianna’s songs create their own themes sonically and leave nameless emotional impressions. Julianna’s talents as a vocalist push most of the musical strength in the album, her choice of melodic vocal overdubs with vocal percussion is fascinating and dizzying. Some sounds become as indecipherable as the human voice. Comparable to Björk’s Medulla approach to end instrumentation, most of the tracks are all vocal based. Julianna’s all vocal album has less of a political method behind it as does Björk’s Medulla; it’s based more on her natural approach to songwriting: spontaneously improving and recording immediately. Many of the songs were written on the fly.


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  • EricMazariegos

    need less loop for me [2] I agree. if she only incorporated more STRINGS maybe into her music, wow that would be so immense.

    31 Mar 5:51pm Reply
  • grandmachine

    Just listened to Julianna Barcwick's "Prizewinning " on SiriusXMU for the first time and it blew my mind. Why haven't I discovered her sooner?

    27 Mar 6:47pm Reply
  • Cat_007

    amazing...but need less loop for me...more cinematic

    25 Mar 9:07am Reply
  • Sosen

    Was she home-schooled? She looks like one of those home-schooled people.

    3 Mar 10:42am Reply
  • UnaLaguna

    @subalien, Patrickcai - was going to say the same thing...

    26 Feb 11:24am Reply
  • Slowdive1768

    Heavenly!!! Her voice is as of an angel...

    15 Feb 12:03pm Reply
  • omaCore

    Gaze my shoes for you, Julianna.

    12 Jan 8:05am Reply
  • GriefJones

    i love you babe

    11 Jan 1:36am Reply

    Uhm... I don't like.

    6 Jan 2:53am Reply
  • Eluvium_Eluvium


    5 Jan 4:57pm Reply
  • michcik_b

    Look into Your Own Mind is named the 16. best track of 2013 in my end-of-the-year list:

    29 Dec 2013 Reply
  • alvaricoca_arch

    After reading tons and tons of bullshit "top of the year" lists, I found this little gem. And all I have to say is: WOAH. Minimalistic, enchanting, calm... Damn, this is just great. Kudos!

    25 Dec 2013 Reply
  • lifesabummer

    ethereal xx

    19 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Emile1995

    Wow! It's like Lana Del Rey gazing her shoes.

    18 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Patrickcai

    @subalien Yes!It is quite similar to the Riceboy Sleeps Album!

    15 Dec 2013 Reply
  • fleshballoon

    how's her live show?

    25 Nov 2013 Reply
  • subalien

    Nepenthe is a Great Album. It reminds me a lot of, Jónsi & Alex's Riceboy Sleeps Album, that came out in 2009.

    21 Nov 2013 Reply
  • daftgirly


    16 Nov 2013 Reply
  • strom-z

    finally a few guys I can agree with (writhingworms and russellchap:) even coming back to her debut "sanguine", she was pretty good and more original back there.

    10 Nov 2013 Reply
  • writhingworms

    @RussellChap: While I generally enjoy Nepenthe quite a bit, I must agree with you wholeheartedly. The Magic Place was groundbreaking and uniquely beautiful; for me, the increased use of conventional song structure and instrumentation (strings in particular, which I think often take nuanced emotional narratives and make them overblown and dramatic) makes the new record a little more commonplace. Still, as the succeeding commenter noted, from an artist's perspective, the expansion to other instruments is probably enjoyable and fends off a feeling of complacency/stagnancy.

    6 Nov 2013 Reply
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