Album Review: Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
For an album keen to avoid sounding “too hippy-dippy or cosmic”, Louisiana-born Brooklynite Julianna Barwick’s Asthmatic Kitty debut is distinctly starry-eyed. It all kicks off with ‘Envelop’ – a flurry of swaddling vocal mantras, whitewashed by reams of effervescent reverb, until it all fades into distant echo and piano tinkle – in short, a track that does exactly what it says on the tin. Even better is lead single, ‘The Magic Place’, which features shimmering croons layered in intricate, golden rushes – a master exercise in measured decadence. But while The Magic Placeshimmies along gorgeously, it’s all a little too ephemeral to be a record of any substance. Each track skitters tentatively into existence, surges into a crystalline climax, then fades, leaving nothing but fairy dust in it’s wake and little impact on the listener in the process. Katherine Rodgers
KEY TRACKS: ‘ENVELOP’, ‘THE MAGIC PLACE’, ‘KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK’.
FOR FANS OF: BJORK, MÚM, ANIMAL COLLECTIVE.