Louisiana-bred & Brooklyn-based vocalist Julianna Barwick crafts other-worldly soundscapes out of loops and layers of her ethereal voice. Barwick credits a rural, church choir upbringing for her approach of weaving simple refrains into grand, swirling masses of sound. Since her first visit to SPACE on the heels of her Dead Oceans debut, Nepenthe, she has broken out internationally in a major way. The last few years have seen her tour with Sigur Rós, sing with children’s choirs around the world, record and perform with the Flaming Lips, release her own version of Bach’s “Adagio from Concerto In D Minor” on Sony Masterworks, play piano and sing with Yoko Ono, and even brew a signature wasabi beer with Dogfish Head. Barwick’s diverse past has also included collaborative albums with Ikue Mori and Helado Negro, a remix commission from Radiohead, and her own song “Vow” being remixed by Diplo. Her latest album, Will out on Dead Oceans.
Dear Nora is the nom-de-plume of West Coast songwriter Katy Davidson. After a string of cult-beloved records and decade of touring from the late 90’s through the aughts, Davidson retired the Dear Nora moniker in 2008. As the 2017 reissue of their 13-year-old record, Moutain Rock, received great acclaim, they revived the Dear Nora name, forming a new backing band, and touring the US. Spurred by the momentum, Davidson decided to create the first album of new Dear Nora material in a decade, Skulls Example. It was released in May on Orindal Records.
Portland’s own folk hero Greg Jamie combines the textural with the tuneful on his new album, Crazy Time. There are echoes of the dark, eerie qualities of Jamie’s previous work (with his bands O’Death and Blood Warrior), but his solo work inhabits a sonic space all its own. Traditional folk melodies contrast cold, synthetic textures, generating an unsettling tension between intimacy and mystery. The atmosphere evokes both the weight of cold, New England winters and the ethereality of a sci-fi dreamscape, together weaving a singular work of disorienting beauty.