repost :: julianna barwick's sanguine

due to the excitement of recentisms, this year old post deserves a re-post to catch up to da times. julianna's celebrating countless blog reviews and also a feature in the othermusic newsletter. she just finished opening for the dirty projectors at bowery ballroom, definitely my favorite venue in nyc. by the way dirty projectors live was awesome. masterpiece form.


julianna barwick has self released her first album, sanguine. the cd is a collection of short loop based songs. lacking definable lyrics, the songs create their own themes sonically and leave nameless emotional impressions. julianna's talents as a vocalist push most of the musical strength in the album, her choice of melodic vocal overdubs with vocal percussion is fascinating and dizzying. some sounds become indecipherable as the human voice. comparable to bjork's medula approach to end instrumentation, most of the tracks are all vocal based. julianna's all vocal album has less of a political method behind it as does bjork's medula; it's based more on her natural approach to songwriting: spontaneously improving and recording immediately. many of the songs were written on the fly.

:: listen to dancing with friends

the vocal track layering lends to something stronger; carrying julianna's admitted affinity for the sounds of choir boys, the warmth of mum, and beauty of the human voice as found in panda bear's solo recordings. In a sense, many of the tracks take on a choir boy presence. but the lo fi quality recording and unstructured song loop presentation keep her in the realm of avant garde, rather just another pretty female voice. "unt. 6" grabs your attention immediately as a soundtrack moment. dark and mysterious. "unt. 3" is the most beautiful and angelic, conjuring memories of choir boys and cocteau twins watery pop.

:: listen to unt. 3

[photo cred] for a first release, sanguine serves as very promising start for julianna barwick. she effortlessly proves her strong melodic songwriting and vocal capabilities. the cd acts as a diving board in which she could easy mix her melodies into the dub or electronic world, creating layered atmospheric music on a larger scale, as hinted to in her collaboration with pandatone. for the moment, sanguine serves as an intimate group of melodies displayed through the minimal tools of a 4 track, a loop pedal, and a beautiful voice.



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