Posts Tagged music review by amy steele

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 review: The Singleman Affair



singleman affair

Mixing organs,  guitar and pedal steel definitely provides the aural hallucinogenic for this band. The songs sound like they’re from another era. And it works. The End of the Affair is trippy and expansive and a multi-patterned musical trip. Singer/songwriter Daniel Schneider’s vocals swing from eerie to lovely to brash. Adam Vida [drums], Gary Pyskacek [guitar and pedal steel], Jacob Smith [organ] and Sam Wagster [bass] round out the line-up.

The first track on this new album “Be This Way” with its elaborate organ arrangement and audacious vocals screams Britpop while the song “Gray Hairs” veers toward 70s psychedelic rock. “I am a Vagabond” is all folky and melodramatic. Super cool guitar riffs on “I Don’t Want to Go Back.” The orchestrations on “I Know a Witch” effectively and beautifully utilizes darker Chelsea Wolfe-type melodies. This could be an excellent live band. Also just cool for chilling out.


The Singleman Affair

The End of the Affair [Cardboard Sangria Records/Strange Weather Records]

Release date: June 16, 2015



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