I would not call this a trend, not even a movement, but I see some common points in a few musical acts that have attracted the attention of music critics lately, and I will try to develop upon why they did. These artists are Julianna Barwick, Julia Holter and a recent favourite of mine, Mirroring, the collaboration between Grouper and Tiny Vipers. To me, they are all revealing of a new possible definition of beauty in music as of today.
Of course you could not help but notice that they are all female singers and musicians. Even before you hear the music, if you have read or seen something about them, you have the image of a creative adult woman. It might be deceiving to state this, but this fact is a point of focus already: these women seem to control solely their musical output, and thus, their life agenda, in a pretty different way than most female R&B stars do with their largest creative teams and the playful design of their celebrity life. One could compare these female artists to Delia Derbshyre, famous for her work at the BBC workshop, Kate Bush, Clare Hamill, Cocteau Twins, and to lesser known level experimental music composers like Eliane Radige and Laurie Spiegel.
Though the music of these artists is not experimental, they reach far out of the radio format. Some of their records might even be defined by a kind of lightness, and even a new age feel. The relaxing vibes of these female voices, used in several layers and most frequently bathed in glowing reverbs, have an hypnotic, spiritual and nostalgic aspect. Especially in the context of information overload in which we encounter music, these artists represents serenity and the idea of an escape to a peaceful time and space where music and its beauty seem to be lasting forever– so much for the next dubstep subgenre.