Julianna Barwick - Will
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2016 Ratings: #266 / 879
User Score
Based on 146 ratings
2016 Ratings: #232
Liked by 1 person
May 6, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dead Oceans / Label
Ambient Pop, Ambient / Genres
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Will is a beautifully written work of art that finds Barwick reaching out to a larger audience, but completely on her own terms.

Slant Magazine

It's the sound an artist, whose mysterious and celebrated process has ironically created theatrical and curated work to this point, finally achieving subtlety.

The 405

Will is a triumph - it takes the kosmische regurgitations of Oneohtrix Point Never, the choral, almost religious feel of early Julia Holter and the relentless thirst for finding the new in the old of The Caretaker to make an entirely new statement.


Will may at first seem small, private, and modestly appointed—just a room with a piano, a synthesizer, and a looping pedal—but once you settle in, it feels as vast as the universe in there.

Under The Radar

With Will, Barwick has once again created something only she could. It's a remarkable achievement—in whatever genre she decides to embrace.

The Skinny

Will is a deeply dramatic showcase throughout – Barwick's vision might have its foundation in traditional forms but the way in which she deconstructs and rebuilds is a distinctly renegade act.


Despite its nearly weightless presence, Will ultimately is a record about going places, even if it takes its sweet time. Uninterested in either Point A or Point B, Will is happy to just drift about in the in-between.


An intentionally fragmented portrait of change, Will's cracks show the growth in Barwick's music, and its pieces are facets that allow different aspects of her talent to shine.


The loop pedals are still present of course, and it’s not a huge leap from previous albums The Magic Place and Nepenthe, but the overall sound is richer and lusher than ever before.

Drowned in Sound
It’s this gentle tension between rigidity and fluidity which makes this a brilliant record. There’s enough repetition to draw you into its ambient landscape, but enough deviation to provide surprise and detail.
Resident Advisor

On the self-produced Will, there's an extraordinary confidence behind Barwick's voice and arrangements.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Barwick’s music is lyrical, wordless, a poetics of negation and repetition. The scatter-worlds of play, ambiguity, and never-empty space. So it breathes, conjures.

The Line of Best Fit
It’s an emotional record first and an ambient record second, and one that will resonate even with those who typically aren’t fans of the niche genre.
Though it takes a sense of patience to pass through the thick layers, Julianna Barwick’s latest musical exploration is not without its rewards.

Evocative and turbulent, the mostly buoyant compositions seek the freedom to extend beyond a moment or locale. A faintly sketched canvas, listeners can color their own emotions to Will.

We find ‘Will’, her first record since 2013’s ‘Nepenthe’ both taking her music further into more straightforward terrain while remaining doggedly, indelibly weird.
Pretty Much Amazing

It’s understandable that Barwick wouldn’t want to do a total 180 into electronic territory. But that probably would have yielded a superior album. Rather, Will is a wobbly baby step from a well-honed sound to something greater. There’s not much reason to listen to it over any of her other albums, and it’s less interesting for the music it contains than the music it promises.

Consequence of Sound
The sound is still undeniably Barwick, but not as revelatory: Songs now build quantitatively rather than blooming hidden shapes and colors from the inside out.
Will showcases a lot of Barwick’s strengths, the synthesizers, the deep vocals and the catchy loops, but it seems like sometimes she just doesn’t fully explodes them at best. I felt in a rollercoaster, she gave me a strong track, then a good one, then a boring. It’s inconsistent, like you’re always waiting for something more to happen but you’re left there without the dessert. Overall, I liked the vibe and I think the length of the songs is perfect.

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☆☆½ — satisfactory
Worth a listen
El hecho de que consigan en algunos momentos que funcione un concepto tan pretencioso es todo un mérito.
I really liked her last two albums and was expecting to like this one too, but it's just too scattered and inconsistent to reach the heights of Nepenthe and The Magic Place, which both had strong concepts and cohesion. I enjoy her efforts to push her sound to more overtly electronic places here, but there are also a lot of boring piano/string numbers that just sound like outtakes from either of her last two albums. I hope her next project explores the electronic sound more thoroughly.

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Track List

  1. St. Apolonia
  2. Nebula
  3. Beached
  4. Same
  5. Wist
  6. Big Hollow
  7. Heading Home
  8. Someway
  9. See, Know
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Added on: March 8, 2016