Julianna Barwick Releases Single “One Half”

Julianna Barwick releases "One Half" from "Nepenthe"

Julianna Barwick has shared the first single from her new album, Nepenthe. “One Half” is a remarkable track that features the first ever definitive lyrics from Barwick. Slowly building from icicle tones, Barwick melts her vocals into the song’s stream, slowly and in unintelligible waves, until, after an interlude of fireworks, they snap into sharp focus. “I guess I was asleep that night, was waiting for…” From there, the sounds layer and swirl, flooding, rushing forward, swelling the banks and then withdrawing again as suddenly as a summer cloudburst.

Barwick will release Nepenthe, her third full-length album, on Dead Oceans on August 20. Recorded in Reykjavík, Iceland, in the dark cold days of February with Alex Somers (Sigur Rós, Jónsi, Jónsi & Alex), Nepenthe is about the sensation of moving forward to find a way through difficult times and retain a feeling of hope. During recording, Somers, who produced & engineered the record, brought in local Icelandic musicians who turned out to make crucial contributions: string ensemble Amiina, guitarist Róbert Sturla Reynisson from múm, and a choir of teenage girls.

The biggest influence on Nepenthe was the unfamiliar surroundings of Iceland itself, with its vibrant music scene and stunningly alien landscapes with their lingering magic. “I was inspired just by being there, and the gorgeousness of that place,” Barwick explains, “Your eyes can’t believe what they’re seeing. I walked home one night and got totally lost in Reykjavík. I ended up walking alongside the ocean – and it was glowing blue. It looked like it had a lamp underneath it. This is a completely different experience than recording myself in my Brooklyn bedroom.”

The songs on Nepenthe are an intimate and radiant array of light-dappled choral works, drawing a powerful sense of hope from the depths of despair.


06/18/13 London, UK – Meltdown Festival @ Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
07/14/13 Kingston, NY – BSP Lounge

08/20/13 New York, NY – Judson Memorial Church

08/28/13 Brussels, Belgium – Feeerieen Festival

08/29/13 London, UK – St. Giles

09/01/13 North Dorset, UK – End of the Road Festival

09/04/13 Paris, France – Les 3 Baudets

09/05/13 Utrecht, Netherlands – Night of the Unexpected

09/06/13 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Night of the Unexpected

09/07/13 Vlieland, Netherlands – Into The Great Wide Open Festival

09/19/13 Minneapolis, MN – The Entry

09/21/13 Chicago, IL – Constellation

09/22/13 Detroit, MI – Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

09/26/13 Toronto, ON – Double Double Land

09/27/13 Rochester, NY – Visual Studies Workshop Auditorium

09/28/13 Cincinnati, OH – Midpoint Music Fest

09/29/13 Bloomington, IN – Russian Recording

10/01/13 Pittsburgh, PA – VIA Festival at Andy Warhol Museum

10/02/13 Asheville, NC – Apothecary

10/04/13 New Orleans, LA – AllWays Lounge and Theatre

10/05/13 Baton Rouge, LA – Mud and Water

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