- Nathan Yoder
Album of the Week - Julianna Barwick - Healing is a Miracle
Julianna Barwick's music is both delicate and powerful. Her layers of looped soprano float like clouds, weightless and ethereal. This signature effect is found throughout The Magic Place and Nepenthe - both classic albums. But on Healing is a Miracle, there are also moments of deep drone and driving force, which feels new. Rather than fading into background, Barwick's music occupies foreground confidently and demands attention. It is commanding, but again, light and intensely beautiful.
Songs like Inspirit, and a personal favorite, Safe, absolutely sound like Barwick, but other exciting moments on Healing is a Miracle bubble up on the three guest-featuring tracks. Each of the songs feel like true collaborations, with characteristics of the featured artists shining through. For example, In Light, with Jonsi, incorporates stomps and music box clicks similar to those found on Sigur Ros' Glosoli. And all three collaborations work perfectly, giving the album a good deal of variation. Shifting direction from an artist you love so deeply can cause anxiety, but in this case, Julianna Barwick's evolving sound has the perfect blend of familiar with new. Healing is a Miracle is stunning.