It’s hard to come up with descriptors that haven’t been used for Portland folk singer-songwriter Johanna Warren and her sound, but both she and her music exude a transcendence and peace in her twenties that elude many people their entire lives. She denies that, though, only making her seem that much more the wiser. Her fantastic, calming nūmūn was evoked by a spiritual awakening in Mt. Hood National Forest in which she fasted for 3 days searching for self. nūmūn communicated that inward exploration exquisitely sonically, but she only gave us a visual expression through the alluring “True Colors” video.
Her rebirth also resulted in the featured healing vocal sound project STONEHOLDER. Her latest song “Great Lake” comes with a video, and both are more of the wisdom-seeking sound and aesthetic we have come to know of Warren. The music is bare, with dreamy xylophone tings and elongated ambient sounds lifting Warren’s voice into the clouds. Her lyrics mix her vivid connection with nature and her never-ending search for knowledge of self to translate the refreshing feeling of being emersed underwater, alone with your own contemplations. The visuals reflect her lyrics, depicting a ritualistic gathering of women in a creek dressed in all white and interacting with the elements around them both giving and receiving energy. The sound and visuals easily transport you to another place and time that isn’t quite definable, but the soothing warmth makes that absolutely OK. Check it out.
nūmūn is out now via Team Love.