Nepenthe (CD)


Julianna Barwick

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Amoeba Review

08/19/2013

Recorded in Iceland, Nepenthe (named for a mythological "sorrow-chasing" drug), is vast, abstract, and occasionally ecstatic, echoing the Icelandic landscapes Barwick has been using in promotional imagery for the album. Backed by the Icelandic string ensemble Amiina (having previously performed a similar function for Sigur Ros in live settings) and a choir of teenage girls (also Icelandic), it's hard to resist corny descriptors like "glacial" or comparing the music to a serene, sparkling snowy plane. However, that's what it sounds like. Barwick's sound sculptures have become frozen landscapes, shifting and gleaming with ice crystal beauty, carrying it out of the immersive, meditative abstraction of nu-new-age and into some sort of bizarre realism, aided by the string ensemble, and the very human presence of guests like the choir of girls and Róbert Sturla Reynisson of múm.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Offing
Julianna Barwick 03:15
2.
The Harbinger
Julianna Barwick 05:50
3.
One Half
Julianna Barwick 03:41
4.
Look Into Your Own Mind
Julianna Barwick 04:36
5.
Pyrrhic
Julianna Barwick 04:20
6.
Labyrinthine
Julianna Barwick 04:33
7.
Forever
Julianna Barwick 05:30
8.
Adventurer Of The Family
Julianna Barwick 02:57
9.
Crystal Lake
Julianna Barwick 04:23
10.
Waving To You
Julianna Barwick 02:36

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