Will by Julianna Barwick
Following the critical acclaim of her third album Nepenthe, Brooklyn-based experimental artist Julianna Barwick had an exciting flurry of projects that included playing piano for Yoko Ono and sharing a stage with the Flaming Lips and Philip Glass at the Tibet House concert at Carnegie Hall. She’s also spent these intermittent years working on a new album entitled Will, which is due to release at the beginning of next month.
As ever, Barwick has created complex soundscapes that seesaw between peace and despair, troughs of stillness and waves of heavy turbulence. It’s a swirl of electronic sounds with orchestral elements; a fantasy of textures created through layers of vocal and synth looping. Both its effect and process are similar to the ambient works of Steve Reich and Brian Eno.
Barwick’s vocals are beautifully choral but far from uplifting – beneath the moody, dark currents of synth, its sound is ominously enchanting, and in this way, quite siren like.
For the listener? While the energy picks up at points, especially at the climactic final song, “See, Know”, on the whole, this is thinking music to soundtrack the pockets of day and night quietude. It's an immersive listening journey, a world to get lost in, and a complex, luxuriously polished sound at that.
Watch the video for the album's first single entitled "Nebula" below.