- Not Even Happiness

Julie Byrne - Not Even Happiness
CRITIC SCORE
81
Based on 16 reviews
2017 Rank: #34 / 289
USER SCORE
77
Based on
205 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
Consequence of Sound

There’s something to be said for the potential for personal growth inherent in traveling without a destination, and every song here is the sound of Julie Byrne making peace with her restlessness.

90
The 405
Whereas she once allowed the listener to seek out their own space within her songs, this music feels confidently, deliberately, hers.
83
Pitchfork

Singer-songwriter Julie Byrne’s new album has the lucidity and tactility of a healing crystal. Not unlike Phil Elverum, she paints sublime, awestruck moments when simple things become overwhelming.

80
The Line of Best Fit

Listening to Not Even Happiness is like being wrapped up in blanket as a child; it gives you comfort and more than a little reassurance, whatever the future may have in store.

80
The Skinny
This is an album of rare beauty.
80
Loud and Quiet
Its gentle, melting quality is restorative — from the soft folkish melodies of the opening track ‘Follow my Voice,’ to the soothing ocean sounds of ‘The Sea as it Glides’, this is music that offers an antidote to the contemporary collective madness.
80
NME
When it’s only January but you’re already convinced you’re listening to one of the finest albums of the year, then it’s highly possible you’ve heard something very special indeed.
80
The Guardian
This second album might not hang together were it not for the fact Byrne herself appears immersed within the worlds she sings about – there’s something pleasingly organic about the way she almost seems to exhale the melodies.
80
DIY
It’s a record wrapped in tenderness, gentle acoustic guitar and Julie’s comfortingly warm voice forming its foundations.
80
Exclaim!

Not Even Happiness is a triumph of subtlety, proof that music doesn't have to be forceful to be powerful.

80
Sputnikmusic

On each and every song, her performance exhibits a natural and believable energy that keeps things alluring even during its quietest moments. It’s that feeling -- like she’s baring her soul with each tender retrospection -- that makes Not Even Happiness feel like such a forbidden pleasure to the listener. Each time you listen to it, you feel like you’re gaining a little piece of rare knowledge from the singer’s weathered and experienced life.

80
Under The Radar

Beyond the hushed sounds of the record, Byrne, for the most part, is not timid but in possession of a rich confidence.

80
Uncut

Second proper album from rootless songwriter Julie Byrne rejects the idea of the great outdoors as a limitless confession booth, and makes it into a legitimate source of desire.

70
Drowned in Sound
The time taken to create this album was well invested; every aspect is carefully considered, from the running order to the lyrics to the delicate instrumental detail you find flecked throughout.
70
No Ripcord

The decidedly naturalistic Not Even Happiness may imply that Byrne is simply catering to her own desires, but in doing so, she’s actually inviting us to witness her growth as both an artist and an individual.

70
AllMusic

Here, she reestablishes what has been her trademark: delicate, dreamy folk governed by a quiet melancholia.

lemuriams
91
I would take a long time to listen to this album and it turned out to be a better album than any that I heard in 2016.

Tracks 10/10 is a natural blue, melting grid, follow my voice, sea as it glides.

This album is the essence of what I love about music - dreamy, full of space and guitar + keys.

I told you it would be a typical 8.3 to Pitchfork, but for me it 9.1
JFulfy
89
Julie is a surprising hit in the early 2017 days. With a soothing voice reminding me of a slower majical cloudz in the weirdest and most unrelatable way, Julie makes me experience what I first felt in their music in a less passionate and unique way. Her songs are all very similar and I get bored half way through, however every song is spectacular expressing a personal and sensitive approach to big situations in life. I truly love this album despite its general similarity to the rest of her ... read more
pouls
32
Julie Byrne's Not Even Happiness seemed to be one of this year's most promising albums from first glance. Being a fan of singer-songwriter and indie folk myself, I saw a lot of promise in this album. However, my expectations fell short after I actually listened to this album. What I got here is a pretty uninspired and uninteresting indie folk album, with not a single memorable song and with no personality. It's an album that is way too quiet for me, and, even though quietness can be used in an ... read more
WildChameleon
72
+ Charming
+ Pretty well written
+ Good duration and track's number

- The songs sound too much identical ...
- ... And sometimes like a generic folk album
- Boring after several listening

I really tend to prefer "Memories are now" by Jesca Hoop and EP "Tender Warriors Club" by Lady Lamb the Beekeeper.
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Added on: November 15, 2016