Release Date: Dec 2, 2009
Record label: Florid
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Julianna Barwick recently told Pitchfork that she didn't "think" there was any guitar on her new EP. We can sympathize with her hazy recollection of the specifics-- Florine leaves a lingering impression of unreality in its wake. A breadcrumb trail of piano and synthesizer guide us through the misty forest of Barwick's voice, and we come out on the other side wondering if it really happened.
It is very rare to hear an artist who leaves you scrambling for precedents—especially an artist as sublime and alluring as Julianna Barwick. Her sonic cathedrals are built with little more than her own voice, which she loops, warps, and stacks until she has amassed an entire alien choir of herself. A cursory listen may bring to mind thoughts of New Age queen Enya, but further listening reveals that her techniques are more in line with artists like Björk and Panda Bear.
The reverb-drenched instrumentation and lush arrangements of Brooklynite Julianna Barwick’s sophomore EP, Florine, make for obvious comparisons to baroque pop in the vein of Fleet Foxes or Sufjan Stevens. But such parallels crumble upon closer investigation. For starters, Florine, which consists nearly exclusively of Barwick’s own voice looped through a series of guitar pedals, is far more fragile and refined than Fleet Foxes’ coarse, earthy sound.