Live Review: Julie Byrne at the ACO, 17.01.2024

Julie Byrne

Julie Byrne is making the most powerful, life-affirming music of her career. Her magnificent new album ‘The Greater Wings’ is a universally resonant testament to the power of love and friendship to transcend grief and loss.

‘The Greater Wings’ stands as a heartfelt celebration of friendship. Julie Byrne’s longtime creative partner and producer of her previous album ‘Not Even Happiness,’ Eric Pittman, passed away at the age of 31. Pittman and Byrne had collaborated on ‘The Greater Wings’ and the project was shelved for six months after his death, Byrne later finished it with Alex Somers (formerly of duo Jónsi and Alex with Sigur Rós’s lead singer). Throughout the album, her emotive lyrics and tender melodies weave a poignant tribute to Pittman, capturing the depth and complexity of their bond. The album not only honours Pittman’s memory but also reflects on the impermanence of life and the enduring nature of friendship, leaving listeners with a sense of bittersweet solace. The album garnered widespread critical acclaim.

Tonight Byrne is appearing at the ACO as part of the Sydney Festival.

Byrne and Jake Faltby (violin, guitar) take the stage, which is set in the centre of the venue, with the musicians surrounded by the crowd. Byrne’s ethereal music and deeply personal lyrics transform the space into a cocoon of reflective tranquility. She offers the audience an emotive journey that leaves them moved and contemplative. Byrne radiates humility and deep gratitude – each time the audience applauds, her reaction is one of genuine surprise and heartfelt appreciation. She plays a selection of songs from ‘The Greater Wings’, switching between acoustic and electric guitars and synthesiser. She asks for the stage lights to be dimmed when she performs ‘Death is the Diamond.’ Standing tall and elegant against the backdrop of the softly illuminated stage, she delivers the song with mesmerising grace. When she introduces ‘Sleepwalker’ she asks if anyone knows it and tells us that it is a song about love.

Byrne’s resonant lyrics and soothing melodies envelop, leaving you feeling as though you’ve been wrapped in a warm, comforting embrace.

Julie Byrne will perform one more show in Sydney before moving on to Brisbane, Northern Rivers, Melbourne and Castlemaine. Ticketing details HERE.

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