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Juliana Barwick - The Magic Place

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 6 / 4 / 2011

Juliana Barwick - The Magic Place
Label: Asthmatic Kitty Records
Format: CD


Offbeat and ambient album from Louisiana-raised singer-songwriter, Juliana Barwick

‘The Magic Place’ is a tree whose trunk opened up and allowed children to sit inside and dream. It can be found on the Louisiana farm where Juliana Barwick grew up. This album isn’t just a tribute to that childhood memory. Barwick says that the magical feeling she had as a child has come back in the life she is now leading, although she hopes saying this won’t make her sound "too hippy dippy or cosmic," For an album comprising a serious of slow, ambient and wordless tracks, its surprising to find that "hippy dippy" is not a criticism you can fairly make. Instead, it sounds like music from the past. Barwick used to sing in a church choir, and - while this is not classical music in any sense - her main aim seems to have been to recapture the feeling she got from singing in church, if not the precise style of the music. To that end, these songs reverberate slowly, with lots of echoes. Made by Barwick alone, she uses a combination of vocal loops and dense synthetic tones. The effect is not unlike standing at the other end of a cathedral, listening to the choir rehearse, without being able to pick out the words or melodies precisely. If perhaps lacking any moment to truly send a shiver down the spine, this is a very pretty album.

Track Listing:-
1 Envelop
2 Keep Up The Good Work
3 The Magic Place
4 Cloak
5 White Flag
6 Vow
7 Bob In Your Gait
8 Prizewinning
9 Flown

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