The experimental composer Julianna Barwick is due to release WIll, her first album since 2013. Lush and languorous, it's a spell-binding achievement in minimalist composition, and it's now streaming on NPR.
Will is a return to form for Barwick. Traditionally a solitary songwriter and producer, her previous album, Nepenthe, was co-produced by Alex Somers, partner of Sigur Ros's Jónsi. Now Barwick is back to producing on her own, but instead of her bedroom studio the songwriter traveled to various locations around the world, including a train pass in Portugal, and the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina, to record the sounds she wanted. A startling and pleasing feature is her use of synthesizers, which glide subtly along her vocal loops in tranquil arpeggios and low-humming tones.
Barwick does include contributions from a few notable collaborators, including Mas Ysa's Thomas Arsenault for a vocal duet, and percussion from Jamie Ingalls of Chairlift and Tanlines. The resulting album is at once Barwick's most still and emotionally moving album to date. Listen to it here and check out the tracklist below.
In support of Will, Barwick will also be embarking on a long US / European tour that kicks off tonight. Check the tour dates here.
Will is out on May 6 on Dead Oceans.
1. St. Apolonia
6. Big Hollow
7. Heading Home
9. See, Know