Julianna Barwick announces new album, single, and tour; drifting off to sleep feels significant again

Julianna Barwick announces new album, single, and tour; drifting off to sleep feels significant again
Photo: Vera Marmelo

Whoever first issued the edict that music can’t be both pretty and heavy at the same time was a moron. (Sorry! It wasn’t you, was it??) And what’s more, that person sure as shit never told Brooklyn-based experimental singer-songwriter Julianna Barwick. Oh sure, a big part of the appeal of 2013’s Nepenthe might have been that album’s whole sorta otherworldly, ethereal, “light passing through stained glass”-type vibe. But, turns out, that was nothing more than a pretty interesting coincidence. Because come May 6, Barwick is officially throwing down a brand new album on the Dead Oceans label. And when it hits the ground, it’s gonna land with a pretty hefty THUD.

This one — Barwick’s third over all — is entitled Will, and like its fairly hamfisted title suggests, it pounds a bit harder than its predecessor, propelled by that kind rhythmic obsessiveness that can only come from living your life out of a suitcase for a while. She conceived and produced the whole thing (as opposed to the Alex Somers-produced Nepenthe) over the span of a year or so spent pingponging around between “a variety of locales, from a desolate house in update New York, to the Moog Factory in Asheville, North Carolina, to Libson, Portugal.” It also features a variety of outside musicians, including the electronic stylings of Thomas Arsenault (a.k.a. Mas Ysa), Dutch cellist Maarten Vos, and percussionist, Jamie Ingalls (of Chairlift, Tanlines, and Beverly), all of whom helped shape Will’s surging, unstable vibe and thick, synth textures. “While making this record, there were moments of isolation and dark currents,” Barwick says. “I like exploring that, and I love when I come across songs that sound scary or ominous. I’ve always been curious about what goes into making a song that way.”

Welp, there you have it. The scary and ominous album is currently available for scary and ominous pre-order directly from Barwick’s website, where it includes a scary “bonus bundle” comprised of an ominously limited-edition 7-inch (500 copies, folks) featuring the track “Chaos” (a tune from her score to the 2015 Zia Anger film I Remember Nothing) backed-with “Never Change” (an outtake from her 2011 album The Magic Place).

But damn, enough tantalizing talk, already! Check out Barwick on tour around the world this spring/summer and feast your desperate earballs on the pretty/heavy Derrick Belcham-directed video for the album’s first single, “Nebula,” down below. It was “filmed in the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, and presents the essence of [Will’s] richly complex musical fabric.” In other words, it’s scary, ominous, itinerant, pretty, heavy… all that crap I’ve been talking about for four paragraphs now. I promise.

Will tracklisting:

01. St. Apolonia
02. Nebula
03. Beached
04. Same
05. Wist
06. Big Hollow
07. Heading Home
08. Someway
09. See, Know

Julianna Barwick 2016 tour dates:

04.01.16 - Athens, GA - Slingshot Festival at Georgia Theatre
04.14.16 - New York, NY - Titus Theater 1 at MoMA
04.28.16 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs
04.29.16 - Portland, ME - The Space Gallery
04.30.16 - Portsmouth, NH - 3S Artspace
05.06.16 -Los Angeles, CA - Velaslavasay Panorama
05.07.16 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
05.10.16 - Seattle, WA - Fremont Abbey Arts Center
05.11.16 - Portland, OR - Old Church
05.13.16 - Mayer, AZ - Arcosanti
05.19.16 - Durham, NC - Moogfest 2016 at First Presbyterian
06.02.16 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
06.04.16 - Berlin, Germany - Torstrassen Festival
06.06.16 - Paris, France - Carmen
06.07.16 - Brussels, Belgium - La Nuit de Botanique Festival
06.08.16 - London, UK - Pickle Factory
06.15.16 - Washington, DC - Sixth & I
06.16.16 - Philadelphia, PA - Small Chapel
06.18.16 - Chicago, IL - Constellation
06.19.16 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
06.23.16 - Detroit, MI - Museum of Contemporary Art
06.24.16 - Pittsburg, PA - Club Cafe

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