The Magic Place

by Julianna Barwick

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Spookanide thumbnail
Spookanide All her work is just magical stuff that's hard to shake once it gets under your skin. I wasn't too drawn to it at first but I just kept on coming back for more.
pyjama thumbnail
pyjama Aerial, abstract, minimal, natural, human, trans. Favorite track: Prizewinning.
Allen Ray
Allen Ray thumbnail
Allen Ray I just discovered Julianna Barwick's music last week Wow - this is just the sort of thing I enjoy! It's like a stripped-down, more immediate, and sucrose-free version of what Enya does/did. And how do I describe this collection of songs? Ethereal... haunting,... other-worldly... simple yet consistently beautiful... brimming with joy, ecstasy, & a deep yearning... Listen for yourself, and be ready to ascend to a special place that is at once heavenly and yet strangely familiar.
sky iouan
sky iouan thumbnail
sky iouan Love to use it when i am meditating. Brings me to the right place as i go to that special place in the etherial continuum
Clayton Giles
Clayton Giles thumbnail
Clayton Giles Ethereal, angelic, perfect. Favorite track: The Magic Place.
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Julianna Barwick's Asthmatic Kitty Records debut, The Magic Place, is a nine-piece full-length album of magic and solace, bursting joy and healing tones. Julianna's mostly-a-capella music is built from her voice multi-tracked through a loop station. There's more backing instrumentation on this one than on previous albums but it's the vocals—soaring high in reverb-drenched, wordless harmonies—that matter most here. It's the layered fragments and pieces that become an intricate pattern through technology; it's the sound of a rising thing, a big group harmony as a splash of sunlight through a car window, a sound that feels like hope and ascendance and patience and intimacy.

Her inspiration here is the a capella church hymns she grew up singing; the way a roomful of diverse voices can join together to fill up a space. Says Julianna about her church singin' days, “You could really hear all the layers, harmonies, rounds, the men and the women, the claps... everything. Some of those hymns are so beautiful.”

Like Sigur Rós's ethereal glossolalia, there's a very particular joy in listening to Julianna's music. Free of the constraints of narrative and traceable language, it's the same joy in giving yourself over to opera in a foreign language, of letting go of your pesky rational mind and allowing the feeling to come through in the voices and performance. The title track is next, a reverb-y beauty queen that soars to Promethean heights and builds its own kind of safe haven in the clouds. Even the gaps between songs are essential to the album's listening experience—a sigh between stories or silence-as-drone, each second important. The New York Times called the pauses between Julianna's songs, “the small pleasure of a chance to breathe between the greater pleasures of not wanting to have to.” Meet The Magic Place. It's a great place to be...


released February 22, 2011


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Julianna Barwick Brooklyn, New York

Julianna Barwick's music has been reviewed in Time Out New York, Time Out Lisbon, The New York Times, and The Village Voice, among other publications. Her music has also been featured as "Best New Music" on Pitchfork, which also gave her latest release, 2009's "Florine" EP an honorable mention for an album of the year. ... more

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