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: