Brooklyn-based singer Julianna Barwick has a new album coming out on May 6. It's called Will and the first taste we're getting of it is called "Nebula." Like her previous work, Barwick layers cryptic, mostly tonal phrases together, creating a hypnotic fog of sound. But she also adds a simple, repeating synth line, giving it an orbital feel.
Though the song is essentially wordless, the dark world Barwick spins into life flutters with loneliness and grief. In the accompanying video, directed by Derrick Belcham, glimpses of an empty house are revealed through pulses of light that swell and fade with Barwick's voice. "This one is special for me because its foundation was made with a Moog Mother-32," Barwick tells NPR Music via email. "So the writing process, instrument and sound took a left turn from how I ordinarily create. It was really nice to build on top of the sound it made, as I've been interested in exploring the synth world, and once all the elements were recorded and pieced together it had a really celestial feeling to me, like a lady astronaut lost in space. That's why I named it 'Nebula.'"
The video was shot at historic Philip Johnson Glass House, the same site of a 2013 performance Barwick did of her song, "Offing."