Albums of 2014 #15 - Julie Byrne - Rooms With Walls and Windows

Julie Byrne
Rooms With Walls and Windows
Orindal Records. Released January 21st.

In a year where quietly hushed, enchanting singer/songwriters have been quite previant, the bewitching Rooms with Walls and Windows by by Seattle-by-way-of-Chicago's Julie Byrne stands out due to ability to get under you skin and transports you to a magical world.

The record is sparse and wistful throughout, full of minimal songs with little more than Julie's earthy, raw tones and finger-picked acoustic guitar. For those who can invest within, it rewards fully. Take opening track "Wisdom Teeth Song" for example where a peacefully calm fingerpicked guitar rings around Julie's descriptive, poetic lyrics and sparkles with it's fragile, evocative craft. The slow drip of emotion continues with "Holiday" which starts as a perfect, a love story "we met on New Years Eve in New York City" but quickly turns in narrative to the resigned conclusion of "I do travel alone and yours is not a number I can call on the phone"..

Hushed, echoed beguiling track runs through but perhaps never finer than on "Prism Song", which weaves an organic tapestry of heart-felt storytelling with haunting vocals and evocative instrumentation - the dreamlike result makes you wish you were sitting around a warm fire allowing this to seep through body and soul. Absolutely beautiful is this.