Healing Is a Miracle cover

Healing Is a Miracle

Released

There’s an especially direct power a singer can achieve when they turn their single voice into a limitless choir of hall-of-mirrors harmony and depth perception-warping reverb. And when Julianna Barwick dropped Healing Is A Miracle in the oppressively claustrophobic atmosphere of furious mourning that defined the summer of 2020, it struck frayed nerves with her expansive ability to make ambient minimalism feel as big as the sky. She brings in other voices, too: Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi harmonizing spectacularly on “In Light,” harpist Mary Lattimore’s harp casting crystalline reflections on “Oh, Memory,” abstract beatmaker Nosaj Thing lacing closer “Nod” with a slowly-awakening build of just-keep-breathing energy. As dense as those pop-ambient wordless vocal soundscapes can get — especially when her crashing-wave beats and heavy-pressure bass swells amplify her vocals’ high-gazing sense of awe — there’s a sort of fluid malleability to its reflective nature that makes the intensity of emotion easier to bear.

Nate Patrin

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