Tripling and quadrupling her voice with the help of a Roland RC-50 Loop Station, singer Julianna Barwick creates her most otherworldly wordless choruses yet on Nepenthe, recorded in Reykjavik with Sigur Rós producer Alex Somers. Barwick, who grew up singing in Missouri and Oklahoma churches, brings home those imposing Icelandic chillscapes to the Stanford White–designed Judson Memorial Church, where the antidepressant qualities of the Brooklynite’s vocal ambience will work their forgetful magic—probably minus the string ensemble, guitarist, and teenage female choir that pop up on Nepenthe. Barwick released perfectly titled Sanguine in 2007 and its Asthmatic Kitty follow-up, The Magic Place, in 2011. Nepenthe, though, is a billowing musical benzodiazepine of a much higher dosage.
Tue., Aug. 20, 7 p.m., 2013
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 14, 2013