Somewhere between a lullaby and a hymn, Julianna Barwick’s ethereal sound is the manifestation of sacred innocence. Using a looping technique, Barwick unfurls layer after layer of celestial vocals, sunny ambient swells, and wistful piano melodies. Wrapped in a soft blanket of nostalgia, one can’t help but recall dusky, wild summer evenings. On The Magic Place, her first full-length album, Barwick transcends her own singularity, incrementally channeling the vocal force of what seems an entire medieval church choir.
This article first appeared in the March-April 2011 issue of Utne Reader.