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REVIEW: "Not Even Happiness" Julie Bryne

by Tegan Mazur - Copy Editor
Tue, Feb 14th 2017 10:00 pm

Having myself never listened to Julie Byrne before, I went in with an open mind and enjoyed myself. 

"Not Even Happiness" is an album that is both strikingly modern and strikingly folk. The first track on the album, "Follow My Voice," is one that relies  heavily on Byrne's voice and little on instrumentation. It was an interesting choice for a first track; it was make-or-break, based almost entirely on just her voice, but it set a strong example for the rest of the album. 

The second tack, "Sleepwalker", brings a much more apparent instrumentation with an acoustic guitar, playing a consistent rhythm over Byrne's almost sorrowful vocals. 

One thing I will say for certain is that this is indeed an album you'll want to put in your "folk" section. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a real taste for folk music, especially contemporary folk music. All of the songs have a very slow pace to them; you have to be in the mood to take your time when you put on this album. 

The interlude track is also very interesting. An interlude track is an artistic choice I've seen done before and it fits in perfectly here, slowing the pace even more with no vocals whatsoever, before moving into the second half. 

The sixth track, "Morning Dove", is a song which combines Byrne's wistful lamenting voice with an acoustic guitar beat which is contrastingly very upbeat for the album, but compliments Byrne's voice excellently. It's hard to talk about individual tracks because most of the tracks feel like they blend together into one album long song. 

The last track, however, "I Live Now as a Singer", has an extra magnificence and more attention on the instrumentation makes it the perfect send off track. 

As a big fan of folk music, both older and contemporary, I highly recommend this album for fellow folk fans itching to add another album to their collection. It's a gentle, reflective album that you're sure to enjoy on a rainy day or while you're trudging through homework. 

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Taken by Mathieu Starke, staff photographer

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