(04.2009, eMusic Selects)
RIYL = Amiina, Grouper, Panda Bear, uh…Enya?
When Julianna Barwick set the blogosphere [shudders] afire last year with Sanguine, I think that there was a general consensus that we needed more and fast. Sanguine was most certainly beautiful, that’s why everyone was so excited, but with a majority of the tracks on that mini album clocking in between one and two minutes, it felt sorta incomplete. The amazing part was just how full and wonderful Barwick’s gorgeous compositions were even in this tamed form. With Florine, Sanguine's proper follow up, I think I speak collectively for internet critics and music lovers the world over when I say, “…wow!” Sanguine enjoyed a similar response, but my goodness, Florine is absolutely jaw dropping. Barwick maintains her signature layers of looping vocals, but this time around she has provided more room for the development of these loops. I think Florine is being touted as an EP (which it is in terms of length), but the six songs here run just as long as the twelve on Sanguine. EP or not, Florine feels much more like a complete document of what Ms. Barwick can accomplish with some proper breathing room. All of the comparisons are still apt on this release. I still feel like Grouper is the dark witch of reverberated female vocals and Barwick is the white witch. They share many similarities, but the difference in major and minor keys is unquestionably significant. The only downfall I can even think of in regards to Florine is the fact that it is not available as a physically tangible release. Someone needs to put this stuff on wax and fast. So, as a recap: beautifully ethereal vocals looped and reverberated into little patches of heaven equals one of the years very very best releases. Highly recommended.