Juliana Daugherty
Light


3.5
great

Review

by neekafat CONTRIBUTOR (55 Reviews)
June 11th, 2018 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sewn together.

These days it seems like the most important task of any indie-folk debut is to set itself from the pack. On the first listen of Light, it’s easy to describe what makes Juliana Daugherty unique as "minimalism." More than perhaps any of her peers, she’s willing to strip back her compositions to the barest bones. However, she seems to be unsure which bones to pick. On one hand are tracks like “Sweetheart,” which uses it’s simple strumming as a backbone to eventually be swallowed by rapturous strings and synths that blend into a shimmering, kaleidoscopic wall of sound that you could get lost in if you aren’t too careful. On the other you have “Revelation,” which is lovely and affecting, but built around a simple pairing of her vocals and guitarwork, it’s simply not enough to stand out from the crowd. The lyrics are lovely as well, but without the music to draw the listener in, they often glide by smoothly, unnoticed. One style relies on folk’s roots as a genre without adding anything new to the table, and the other pushes sounds normally associated with shoegaze or electronic music while still retaining its core simplicity. That’s not the say that there isn’t bliss to be found in both. Even if the purely acoustic offerings don’t set her apart from the pack the way the others do, moments like the drizzling closer are excellent in their own right.

And Daugherty is a talented enough musician to lend the same warmth to both styles, as her words and music exhibit an earnestness that most musicians are never able to find. It’s just that there exists a dichotomy in this album that just isn’t cohabitual. It’s not hard to imagine her leaning on her stripped-back roots at first before growing more and more comfortable in the thick, hazy worlds she learned to create as recording went on. It’s admirable of her to try to combine the two on the same release, but the sad fact is that the songs are simply at their best when they dive headfirst into their eerie atmospheres. Even when the division is bridged admirably, it’s hard to imagine separating the ideas not being for the best.

In an era of numerous and immensely talented peers, Daugherty proves that she has what it takes to create convincing and interesting songs, but she still struggles to find her sound. To me, it’s clear what direction is necessary for her to carve her own path in indie folk. And it doesn’t help when the gargantuan opener and obvious highlight “Player” proves so clearly and finally that her denser moments are the most captivating. Embodying a blissful wasteland full of hope and fear, it conjures a feeling so unique and profound that I can’t remember feeling it ever before in music. And hopefully as she continues on, I can feel it again.



Recent reviews by this author
Cage The Elephant Social CuesGlen Hansard This Wild Willing
Nilufer Yanya Miss UniverseSolange When I Get Home
Mykele Deville MaintainLos Unidades Global Citizen EP 1
user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This might be a bit clunky since I'm more than a little rusty, major thanks to Blush for helping me sift through my messy first draft!

ZombieToyDuck
June 11th 2018


7076 Comments


"what makes Juliana Daugherty unique as minimalism"
is minimalism

otherwise wonderful work as always! Pos!

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Actually I think I had it right, just phrased weirdly hahaha thanks man!

ZombieToyDuck
June 11th 2018


7076 Comments


ahhh I see reread the sentence poor first read on my part! haha

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2018


24639 Comments


" it’s easy to describe what makes Juliana Daugherty unique as minimalism" - what exactly do you mean by as minimalism? a bit clunky even if u clarify it a bit later

"One style relies on folk’s roots as a genre without adding anything new to the table, and the other pushes..." - what two styles? feel like this concept was just thrown in there and could use some clarification plus would strengthen the transition into the next paragraph

"pandering to her stripped-back roots" - altho I understand what you're saying when you phrase it like this it's a bit awk, usually u pander to a crowd/audience so I'd consider re-phrasing this

"but she still struggles to find her sound."

really love those last couple sentences, neeka. well written as always, this sounds nice

Atari
Staff Reviewer
June 11th 2018


24618 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

nice album, glad to see a review for it



rec for people who dig this kinda stuff: check the new Aisha Burns as well. same label + also a grower

Digging: Radiator Hospital - Sings "Music for Daydreaming"

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys, trying to still edit this dumpster fire of a review so any feedback is appreciated haha!

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ohhhhh looks nice Atari, will check

So much new indie folk holy hell

Papa Universe
June 11th 2018


21053 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

smooth, warm, minimalist folk?



juliana POSerty

Digging: Rammstein - Rammstein

AsleepInTheBack
June 11th 2018


5971 Comments


Lovely work Neek.

I'd substitute 'symbiotic' or something for 'cohabitual', cause I'm not sure if its technical speaking a word haha.

Nice work though Neek. I like the minimalism thesis, though I think you get off to a confusing start when you say the record is barebones and then talk about "rapturous strings and synths that blend into a shimmering, kaleidoscopic wall of sound that you could get lost in if you aren’t too careful", which sounds the opposite of minimalism to me. It's a great line, but maybe better placed deeper into the review after you establish your argument a bit more fully first.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
June 12th 2018


2876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This has grown on me so much. (Thanks Lucid.)

Digging: Injury Reserve - Injury Reserve

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Again, completely right Asleep, thanks!

I probably should've rested on this review a bit more but I got impatient and wanted to get something out there haha

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2018


9469 Comments


I’m not much of a folk-y guy but this sounds pretty nice. I came for the artwork

AsleepInTheBack
June 12th 2018


5971 Comments


I came because of the artwork...

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2018


9469 Comments


Touché


; ]

TwigTW
June 12th 2018


3742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nicely written review Neeka--I like this album a lot. I'm actually enjoying the 'dichotomy' that did not work so well for you.

Digging: Rhiannon Giddens - there is no Other

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you wanna get technical, the artwork COULD represent that dichotomy (;

I'm glad it works for you man! It's definitely something that could grow on me in time

TwigTW
June 12th 2018


3742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's true about the cover--nice!

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2018


15518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It is such a lovely cover

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
July 18th 2018


15838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

One of my favourite reviews I've read you recently neeka, you really have stepped up your writing man. The album is a pleasant listen, but for me just that, as it came it went, and didn't leave a mark.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy