Not Even Happiness
Julie Byrne - Not Even Happiness
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2017 Ratings: #100 / 711
User Score
Based on 278 ratings
2017 Ratings: #111
Your Review

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.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

The result is a record that’s concerned about faith, death, and the metaphysical. It’s heady stuff but grounded with vignettes of everyday activities—a beautiful, comforting second work from the singer.

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.

Jan 30, 2017
lemuriams
NR
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
Jan 31, 2017
BonoLightier
80
Good loner music!
Jan 24, 2017*
JFulfy
84
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
Feb 11, 2017
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.
Jan 19, 2017
EMR
63
A considerably beautiful album with its fair share of well written folk songs that rely basically on Julie Byrne's confident and mature songwriting skills and charming voice, backed up by some really sparse and atmospheric instrumentals here and there. While the lyrics offer ocasional glimpses of powerful accuracy, the album as a whole doesn't neccessarily follow that overall level of artistry with its insistently spare structure, and things get a bit one-sided quite soon. There are some worthy ... read more
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Added on: November 15, 2016