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Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (369 ratings)
Florine album cover
Sunlight, Heaven
The Highest
Album Information

Total Tracks: 6   Total Length: 24:28

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Wondering Sound

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Jayson Greene


Jayson Greene is Senior Editor at Wondering Sound and a contributing writer and columnist at Pitchfork. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, GQ,...more »

Julianna Barwick, Florine
Label: Florid Recordings / Virtual

Just as you can never dip your foot twice into the same spot in a river, you can never hear a Julianna Barwick composition a second time. The uncannily poised Brooklyn performer builds her reverberant cathedrals of vocal harmony alone, piling her voice slowly and purposefully up in layers, and every time she sits down to record, it is a new experience. From a few wispy strands of melody, she erects massive, dreaming towers of… read more »

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i don't see how this could be any better or more beautiful than it is. soaring, uplifting, and shows you just why it's okay to be alive and human in a messy world. couldn't recommend this more highly.

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evocative of mystical, invisible places


i use Julianna's tracks to accompany the more ethereal movements to our dance labs such as the one we like to call "Walking Through Walls". Her expressions assist and accompany us in bringing forward our attention towards inner light-full-ness

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a few cents worth


considering that equal temperament is many cents out of tune in various directions on every interval of the chromatic scale, I would rather hear someone sing a few cents out and closer to the overtone series than to a piano's rigid spacing. that's one of the beauties of the voice, it can still play in tune music! even if it sounds 'out-of-tune'.

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Fresh dreampop


She sounds like an underground Enya for the 21st century. No matter if she's out of tune, as a reviewer noted - that just adds the right amount of weirdness and is part of her unique sound (Sigur Rós + Slowdive + Enya).

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Music for Purgatory


it you let go and float along, very ethereal...if you try too hard, straight to hell

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This chorus don't bore us


Something different, which is just what I was looking for. 'Anjos' & 'Bode' are the highlights for me. Maybe not suitable for the anally retentive, cynics, or Taylor Swift fans (see 3 below).

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Anyone else notice that she is out of tune by a few cents on almost every loop? That kind of ruins the experience.

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this music is decent


the people patting themselves on the back for listening to this is what's annoying.

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Not for me


As for Sunlight, Heaven and Cloudbank... I had a cat that sounded like that once...

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Cocteau Twins if they left their guitars at home


I like it, but really don't think it has the atmosphere and depth that makes a Cocteau Twins album so listen-able year after year.

eMusic Features


eMusic Selects: Julianna Barwick

By Yancey Strickler, Contributor

Julianna Barwick understands who she is as both a person and an artist, and she exudes it. A solo artist in every sense, her live performances consist of little more than her singing into a microphone, her voice rendered hollow and enormous by reverb and effects. She sings just one measure at a time, some fragment of a melody like a car radio heard from miles away, and then she builds on it, recording the… more »

They Say All Music Guide

It’s not every day someone comes up with a truly new, undeniably distinctive sound. Certainly not after several decades’ worth of restlessly inventive, electronically aided aural explorers have canvassed seemingly every imaginable sonic and textural frontier in the broadly defined realms of ambient, experimental, and electro-acoustic art music. But that’s exactly what Julianna Barwick has achieved; first with her 2006 album Sanguine, and even more boldly and assuredly on this release, which is billed as an EP even though its predecessor was equally concise. Barwick’s arrival at such a refreshingly original sonic approach is in itself a remarkable feat; that the sound she’s developed also happens to be instantly arresting and utterly beautiful is truly a cause for wonder. The sound in question, essentially the only thing we hear on the whole of Florine (with a few small exceptions), consists of a densely layered array of Barwick’s own vocals — murmuring alto hums; full-throated high-register vocalizing (usually wordless), and an even higher, unearthly siren’s peals — always heavily reverbed, and massaged to erase almost any trace of attack and to produce a long, lingering decay. The effect is a blurry, impossibly ephemeral build-up of sound that, despite its palpably human point of origin, feels neither natural nor artificial, but rather more elusive: supernatural, otherworldly, divine; strange and unfamiliar, and yet comforting and reassuring. Even without the apt, unmistakable imagery conjured by Florine’s song titles — “Sunlight, Heaven,” “Cloudbank,” “The Highest,” “Anjos” (“Angels” in Portuguese) — it would be hard to miss the fundamentally airy, celestial nature of this music, which has the billowing, pillowy softness of a cloud and a haunting, eerie beauty evocative of an angelic choir — keeping in mind that angels are something decidedly other than human. There’s a corresponding (if equally abstracted) spiritual quality to the loop-based, loosely structured compositions themselves: solemn and stately, at least at first, with simple (mantra- or hymn-like, perhaps) elusive melodic fragments repeated cyclically, gradually accreting density and sometimes near-rapturous volume, and then lapsing again into silence. Save for the interlude “Anjos,” which swaps the typical all-but-a cappella model for a prominent instrumental undercarriage of glassine piano rills, these six tracks all take a largely similar form, but they create a considerable range of moods and effects via small variations in texture, harmony, and pacing. Florine may be brief, but it is in no way fragmentary or incomplete: this is a thorough, thoughtful, and mesmerizing fleshing-out of a potent and fascinating musical idea. – K. Ross Hoffman

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