Julianna Barwick, Mas Ysa | Constellation | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Julianna Barwick

Julianna Barwick

Julianna Barwick, Mas Ysa 

When: Sat., June 18, 8:30 p.m. 2016
Price: $15
Brooklyn singer Julianna Barwick first established herself using nothing but wordless vocals and a looping setup, forging constellations of ethereal melodies that seem to feed on themselves. As heard on her 2011 effort The Magic Place (Asthmatic Kitty), the results were lovely but a little limited, so she wisely began working with other musicians and producers. On the recent Will (Dead Oceans) her essential methodology hasn’t changed: at the core of her songs are delicate vocal fragments that dissolve into a milky ether of reverb. Only now she’s fully cradling and complementing those sounds with her own piano and synthesizer lines as well as cello, percussion, and additional vocals from several collaborators. That means she can sound a bit like a hipster Enya sometimes, but at the other extreme is the closing track, “See, Know,” where a relentless synth riff and circular drums create a surprisingly refreshing air of paranoia. Mas Ysa, the solo project of Montreal musician Thomas Arsenault, who sings on Will, opens.
— Peter Margasak
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