Ethereal chanteuse Julianna Barwick first hit Prog’s radar with the heavenly looped vocals of 2011’s The Magic Place. We were late to the party: the Louisiana-born soundsmith had been beavering away with tech-craft for some years. Here she partners with Brooklyn-based latin guitarist Roberto Carlos Lange, aka Helado Negro, for something a little different.
Still using her extraordinary Liz Fraser-like vocals, Barwick also picks up guitar, vibraphone and synth to blend with Lange’s laconic amble down the alleys of rhythmical folk and dream-pop. It’s a gorgeous, somnambulant sunny daze of a record from two experimenters with an ear for astral uplift.
Lange’s is a calm and crystalline talent, rejecting the fiery latin stereotype with a tranquil and meditative direction, coloured by Hipstergram flashbacks and Tropicalismic character. Barwick’s otherworldly counterpoints fill the spaces with prismatic transcendence.
If this country is never to have a proper summer again this lovely confluence of Gilberto Gil, TV On The Radio, Bear In Heaven and This Mortal Coil will transport you to the great poolside in the sky. Most unique and charming indeed.