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Julian Lynch – Terra April 29, 2011

Posted by gwyoung in Album Reviews, Music.
Tags: ,

Artist: Julian Lynch

Album: Terra

Release: Underwater Peoples, 2011

Genre: Folk

RIYD: Forest Swords, Ducktails, Avey Tare

Readers of this blog might recall that it started off with a year-end list for 2009 that included Julian Lynch’s hypnotic debut, Orange You Glad. Shortly after came a post with a live video of Lynch playing “Rancher” in which I raved about the promise shown in this guy’s technique and unique style. A year later he released the Pitchfork-lauded sophomore album, Mare, and I didn’t make a peep.

Though critics praised Mare for its progression into new territory and a more cohesive sound for Lynch, none of it struck me as memorable or worthy of note, even after several listens. The songs were good and Lynch definitely expanded on the same hypnotic, murky elements which gave Orange You Glad its initial charm, but something about the album just didn’t sit right and I soon abandoned those high hopes I had for Lynch’s future musical projects.

And now here we are in 2011, bearing witness the release of yet another album from this prolific outsider mastermind. Though deemed a “sidestep” from Mare in various internet publications, I believe that Terra is the ultimate realization of the promise I raved about in those posts so long ago. Julian Lynch is back, complete with lounging saxophones, rolling waves of nostalgic synth tones and watery rhythms, and that glorious falsetto that shines through all the muck and slime amassed from the remnants of smooth jazz and the death of chillwave. Even the title and album art are indicative of the earthy, swampy feel that originated on Orange You Glad but was soon abandoned in its immediate successor.

Terra, however, is not just a continuation of the same ethos that pervaded Orange You Glad. The songs here are more fully developed, the vocal presence is more forceful, and the compositions feel much tighter than the rambling excursions found on the debut. Terra is not a “sidestep”. Terra is Julian Lynch’s natural progression, and what I (and probably other early fans) have been waiting for from him ever since my first exposure two years back.



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