Saturday, December 10, 2011

Julianna Barwick - The Magic Place

Julianna Barwick - Vow by Artur Smejalsja

Every year, there’s always something I miss. This year, it seems to have been Julianna Barwick’s transcendent The Magic Place.

From the record label: Asthmatic Kitty Records debut, The Magic Place, a nine-piece full-length album of magic and solace, bursting joy and healing tones. Julianna's mostly-a-capella music is built from her voice multi-tracked through a loop station. There's more backing instrumentation than on previous albums but it's the vocals—soaring high in reverb-drenched, wordless harmonies—that matter most here. It's the layered fragments and pieces that become an intricate pattern through technology; it's the sound of a rising thing, a big group harmony as a splash of sunlight through a car window, a sound that feels like hope and ascendance and patience and intimacy. (Pitchfork called her 2009 self-release, Florine, “bracingly intimate” as well as a runner-up for “album of the year,” giving it a glowing rating of 8.2. Her 2007 debut, Sanguine, is more of the same. Her sound, it appears, was born fully realized.)

Here’s a link to hear more full tracks from the album:

http://soundcloud.com/goldstarpr/sets/julianna-barwick-the-magic

3 Comments:

At 12/11/2011 10:31 AM, Blogger David said...

It's the layered fragments and pieces that become an intricate pattern through technology; it's the sound of a rising thing, a big group harmony as a splash of sunlight through a car window, a sound that feels like hope and ascendance and patience and intimacy.

I like that description. The music is pretty (I mean that sincerely, I'm not damning the music with faint praise), but I don't quite have the patience for it. I need more percussion. More cowbell. This music seems like an acquired taste. The art itself cannot be blamed for my impatience with it.

 
At 12/11/2011 10:53 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I feel a bit the same way. It's great for having something on while reading or going to sleep. And, for me, that's important. I have kids, it's a noisy place I live in.

 
At 12/11/2011 3:55 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

I had the same reaction. I remember it feeling like it was Freak Folk that was born in a cathedral.

 

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