When you come to Gorilla vs. Bear Fest on Saturday, you may just be surprised by Julianna Barwick’s airy vocals and spontaneous, effervescent styling. At first glance, the Louisiana native turned Brooklyn chanteuse sounds similar to a white noise machine possessed in the night by melodic banshees. But one will quickly notice that her loop based vocal arrangements are more siren than banshee, as if the singer herself is reeling you in through an enveloping ocean fog. All of Barwick’s songs are created live, on the spot, an experimental practice that Barwick claims is actually anything but harrowing. Overall, Barwick’s work has been compared to Enya, Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins, and lighter Bjork tunes, which are apt comparisons when taking the artist’s atmospheric sound into consideration.
Barwick’s latest Asthmatic Kitty release, A Magic Place, continued the trend of quiet elegance that was solidified in her previous album, Sanguine. The self-released EP Florine was even deemed a potential runner up for Pitchfork’s 2009 album of the year, which gives you all the more reason to catch Barwick when she visits Dallas this weekend.
If you weren’t fortunate enough to catch Barwick at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago on July 17th, you can get your fix of her ethereal vocals before Gorilla vs. Bear Fest with Julianna live in Paris: