Julianna Barwick - Will

by Jeff Penczak Rating:9 Release Date:2016-05-10

Sultry chanteuse Barwick’s third-long player continues her ambient, Cocteausy wistfullness, full of Edda Dell’Orso-styled wordless vocals, and a dip into the liturgical chants of Hildegard Von Bingen ('Big Hollow'). Expanding her sound to include contributions from cellist Maarten Vos, she nevertheless doesn’t disappoint fans who’ve looked to her as a shining light in the world of droning electronic music.

‘Nebula’ floats effortlessly across the universe on the back of moody, Moogy melodies and the double-tracked pigeon coos that are her vocal trademark. Not quite the invented language of Cocteau Twin Liz Fraser or Sigur Rós’ Jónsi Birgisson, her breathy angelic chants will sooth the savage breast in all of us.

‘Beached’ is a lonely piano solo similar to Felt’s more ephemeral work with Martin Duffy, with Vos’ cello combining to add a vibe not too far removed from last year’s Roger O'Donnell and Julia Kent collaboration, Love and Other Tragedies. Vocal duets with Thomas Arsenault on 'Same' and 'Someway' are another new element in the musical stew; their masculine-feminine interplay adding intriguing possibilities, but ensuring everything doesn’t deteriorate into a lame Antony & The Johnsons knockoff. In fact, his fans might actually welcome Barwick’s similarly chilling, emotional music.

Equally suited to contemplative navel gazing, spiritual ruminations with your power that be, or lazy hammock napping, Will is the most reflective set of music we’ve experienced in quite some time... Something to bring the whole family together such that everyone from the newborn to grandma can actually enjoy together.

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