For the fourth time since 2011, the year of her international emergence while working at Sufjan Stevens’ New York studio after being spotted by his label Asthmatic Kitty, Julianna Barwick releases an album with horizontal virtues. These superimpositions of voices, traditional instruments, analog synths, and electronic layers generated by digital technologies produce a very special alloy, somewhere between ambient, post-rock, and choral singing. Human voices and synthetic voices shape consonant harmonies and melodies. The modulations are minimalist, the frameworks are mostly simple, everything happens between the lines. Although innovative, the multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer’s music is meant to be soothing, soaring, dreamlike, healing for body and soul, as the title of this album suggests. It is in fact a linear continuity for Julianna Barwick, joined by singer Jónsi of Sigur Rós (on “In Light”), the producer Nosaj Thing and the harpist Mary Lattimore (on “Oh Memory”). One shouldn’t try to find new jolts in her work, but rather relish the fine details that distinguish this new opus from the previous ones. The repetition of motifs and the slowness of execution are factors inherent to the music of this white magic.
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