Fresh Stream, Music



The past few years have become a golden age for folk singer/songwriters, with wonderful artists like Angel Olsen and Sun Kil Moon releasing some of their strongest and most honest work. Chicago artist Julie Byrne is yet another to add to the list, her first full-length studio album taking its own special place in this era. Like her peers, her voice is the secret force behind the music, and she sings with a mournful, resonating tone that makes the songs unexpectedly haunting. Simple acoustic guitar backs her, with endless lines of the pretty finger-picking style that she adopted as her signature.

There is plenty of open space in the music, allowing for Byrne’s emotive voice to fill in the holes. The deliberate use of vocals as a central focus shines light on the sentimental lyrics, which are full of wistful stories about wandering and loss. To fully create the surreal images of distance and exploring, both Byrne’s voice and guitar are filtered through deep echoing effects. Between her serene voice and the ghostly sounds, the whole album takes on a dreamy quality, and though it is filled honesty, there is still mysterious, mystical side.

With Walls and Windows is out now Orindal as a CD, LP, or a digital file, or and you could catch Julie Byrne when her long traveling tour stops in Boston on July 13th at the House That CD-r’s Built in good ol’ Jamaica Plain.

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