Published Apr 14, 2020Juniper trees look like petrified clouds, shocks of green with branches all reaching towards the sky, but they're short and close to the ground, like landlocked fog. Winnipeg shoegaze band Juniper Bush contain this contradiction, too. In their latest album, Healing Through a Sonic Figure, the band communicate a dizzying multitude of contradictions that, in the end, balm a frenzied mind.
Formed in 2016, Juniper Bush contains members from Winnipeg's psych-rock scene. Lizzy Burt is lead songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, and in concert with Adrian Schroeder, Danny Hacking and Kyle Loewen, she delivers a disorienting album that ricochets and rattles like something of Nirvana or the Cranberries, but also is laced through with the satiny haunt of Lana Del Rey's voice circa Ultraviolence. Healing Through a Sonic Figure is delightful but also dark, calming but also migraine fodder.
On the album's nine tracks, Burt showcases her versatility as a vocalist. On some tracks, her voice lingers like Enya's and is delicate as a feather while on others, it's venomous and heavy. Album opener "Hindsight" is a rush of roaring guitars with Burt's voice sometimes whispering, other times wailing, changeable like rushing water. It's followed by the equally ferocious "Foresight," punctuated by introspective pockets of Burt's lyrics.
Each song on the album is able to walk a fine line between steady and slow shoegaze and '90s grunge. It doesn't reinvent the wheel but it is an outstanding example. It brings various influences together, creating a unified whole of contrary sounds. (Independent)