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Julianna Barwick

Rosabi EP

(Dead Oceans; US: 3 Jun 2014; UK: 3 Jun 2014)

Julianna Barwick’s music is as much about the space it is created in as the sound that it makes. So it’s no surprise that Rosabi, the EP that coincides with a beer Dogfish Head brewery made in collaboration with Barwick, contains distant elements of the brewery itself. You’re unlikely to really notice the clatter of the room or the process of making beer, but it’s just one more way Barwick has subtly, even subconsciously, embedded parts to make her astral sounds still feel grounded. The layered vocals are as striking as they’ve ever been, whether it is in the tense pulsing of “Meet You At Midnight”, the haunting stillness of “New Moon”, or the soft strength of brilliantly quiet closer “Blood Brothers”. Rosabi is of a piece with Barwick’s other recordings but continues to push the limits, making this four-song release far more ambitious and generous than it seems on its face. Oh, and the beer is delicious too.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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