Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe
Nepenthe, the third album from the American singer and music producer Julianna Barwick would certainly suit a wintery day sitting in front of an open fire with a good book: subtle melodies, haunting vocals and real atmosphere.
Sure, those layered vocals immediately suggest a church choir, but don't let that put you off, the accompanying instrumentation, usually piano or ambient noises, transform the songs into something uplifting and serene.
The influences of collaborators Mum and Sigur Ros are clearly heard, but it never sounds derivative. On the contrary, Barwick has taken those elements (the scratchy textures and the manipulated vocals) and made then her own.
8/10 after 19 listens