Posts Tagged Julianna Barwick

STEELE PICKS: Best Albums of 2016

here’s the music in heavy rotation or that intrigued me or moved me in 2016. we need music and the arts now more than ever. music heals.




Chairlift, Moth [Columbia]
–the duo aptly describes its music as “25th-century folktronica.” infectious beats, sweet vocals. the Brooklyn band just announced its break-up on Twitter.


Bat for Lashes, The Bride [Parlophone]
— concept album. all the songs on this album= perfection. dark humor, dark melodies with gorgeous arrangements, provocative lyrics and lilting, rich vocals.


Warpaint, Heads Up [Rough Trade]
–the all-female Los Angeles indie band plays soothing, swirling, pretty, contemplative, dreamy, free-spirited music. Warpaint is Emily Kokal (guitar, vocals), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass, vocals), Stella Mozgawa (drums, vocals) and Theresa Wayman (guitar, vocals). The new album sounds a bit more pop, a bit more loud and loose without departing from the loveliness that makes up Warpaint’s current musical catalogue.


Daughter, Not to Disappear [4AD]
–haunting vocals, swirly moodiness and thoughtful lyrics


Tindersticks, The Waiting Room [City Slang]
–sexy, dark music. Singer Stuart Staples oozes romance with that brooding baritone and the varied instrumentation of violin, keyboards, percussion and guitar leads to gorgeous layered arrangements.


Band of Horses, Why Are You OK [Interscope]
–this band makes me feel slightly warm and fuzzy. also one of the best shows this year.


Julianna Barwick, Will [Dead Oceans]
–this album soothes and calms. I often listen to it while I’m at acupuncture. my review.


The Julie Ruin, Hit Reset [Hardly Art]
–edgy brilliance. The spectacular album bursts with a tangible emotiveness, unapologetic lyrics and a collective embrace for individual truth and identity.


Basia Bulat, Good Advice [Secret City]
–there’s an earthy loveliness in the Canadian folk singer-songwriter’s vocals. her captivating and honest lyrics get buoyed by layered melodies.


James, Girl at the End of the World [BMG]
–one of my favorite 90s Britpop bands. this electronica/ indie-rock album does not disappoint. my review.


Suede, Night Thoughts [Warner Bros.]
–another one of my favorite British bands from the 90s still at it.

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best albums of of 2016 so far


Chairlift, Moth [Columbia]

–the band aptly describes its music as “25th-century folktronica.” there’s a creepiness and blandness to moths. when a moth flies at me, I’m not going to embrace it as I would a butterfly although they’re in the same family.  moths don’t glide and look beautiful but fly like they’re on an escalator. moving forward in place. that suits Chairlift. a bit muddled. definitely engaging.

Bat for Lashes, The Bride [Parlophone]

–even though this album only came out on July 1, the songs on this album= perfection. dark humor, dark melodies, gorgeous arrangements and provocative lyrics. one of my absolute favorite artists.

Julianna Barwick, Will [Dead Oceans]

–this album soothes and calms. I often listen to it while I’m at acupuncture. my review.

Daughter, Not to Disappear [4AD]

–in heavy rotation. haunting vocals, swirly moodiness and thoughtful lyrics.

James, Girl at the End of the World [BMG]

my review

Band of Horses, Why Are You OK [Interscope]

–this band makes me feel slightly warm and fuzzy.

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music review: Julianna Barwick

julianna barwick will album cover

During my last two acupuncture sessions I’ve listened to Julianna Barwick’s third full-length album, Will. It’s allowed me to focus on the music and remain in the moment during my treatment. This inventive album scores with its eclectic, gorgeous arrangements and assorted instrumentation. The entire collection exudes transcendent and ethereal vibes with bitter, shadowy undercurrents. An outstanding, striking work of art.

An impressive and glorious pitch combined with strings and piano on “St. Apolonia” reminds me of Chelsea Wolfe’s music. “Nebula” is a completely dreamy, soaring meditative wonder. “Beached” features piano, breathy vocals and a powerful quietness. Opening with expansive and lofty keyboards, “Same” pushes the listener into another realm through the Brooklyn artist’s vigorously exalted vocals. “Someway” conveys a sadness and uncertainty through its layered composition and heartrending vocals. Vibrant electro-beats propel the outstanding and devastating “See, Know.”

This album takes you on the ultimate contemplative aural journey. At turns brooding and at others soothing, there are numerous elements to appreciate, to dissect, to focus upon. Each listen provides a new revelation. Julianna Barwick explained: “While making this record, there were moments of isolation and dark currents. I like exploring that, and I love when I come across songs that sound scary or ominous. I’ve always been curious about what goes into making a song that way.” Somebody on twitter commented that she rarely listened to an album in its entirety. Needing or wanting to listen to an album repeatedly from start to finish remains the rare exception. Will is absolutely that album. Prepare for a spectacular immersive experience with vast appeal.

–review by Amy Steele

Will [Dead Oceans]

Release date: May 6, 2016

purchase at Amazon: Will

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music news: Julianna Barwick spring tour/ new album in May


Brooklyn experimental indie artist Julianna Barwick will release her third full-length album Will on May 6th. Her music is enthralling, dreamy and strange, in all the best ways. She worked on the album in Lisbon, Portugal [jealous], Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina and in a rural locale in upstate New York.

julianna barwick

Julianna states: “I love touring, but it can be a wild ride. You’re constantly adjusting, assimilating, and finding yourself in life-changing situations.” Those experiences played into and helped shape Will’s charged, unstable atmosphere: “I knew I’d be playing these songs live, so I wanted some movement,” she explains. “Something that had rhythm and low-end.”



Thu. Apr. 14 – New York, NY @ Titus Theater 1 at MoMA
Thu. Apr. 28 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
Fri. Apr. 29 – Portland, ME @ The Space Gallery
Sat. Apr. 30 – Portsmouth, NH @ 3S Artspace
Fri. May 6 –Los Angeles, CA @ Velaslavasay Panorama
Sat. May 7 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Tue. May 10 – Seattle, WA @ Fremont Abbey Arts Center
Wed. May 11 – Portland, OR @ Old Church
Fri. May 13 – Mayer, AZ @ Arcosanti
Thu. May 19 – Durham, NC @ Moogfest 2016 at First Presbyterian

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