Julianna Barwick albums tend to be wordless affairs, awash in stacked, celestial oohs and ahhs. Even on those rare occasions specific words arise, they tend to be hidden away deep beneath looped layers of piano, strings and gauzy synthesizer.

Julianna Barwick albums tend to be wordless affairs, awash in stacked, celestial oohs and ahhs. Even on those rare occasions specific words arise, they tend to be hidden away deep beneath looped layers of piano, strings and gauzy synthesizer.

"Anytime there are real lyrics, they either don't make sense or they are super buried and kind of like a secret I have and don't really want to talk about," said Barwick, who visits Double Happiness for a concert on Thursday, June 16. "I much prefer to make sound, and emotion through sound, and then the listener can interpret it however they want to. And I kind of love that about it."

The musician's third and most recent full-length, Will (Dead Oceans), continues this trend, with Barwick constructing lush, looped tracks as immersive as they are mysterious. Witness the ambient "Big Hollow," which mirrors the feel of stepping inside a long-abandoned cathedral, sunlight beaming in through its massive stained-glass windows.

In a way then, it's fitting Barwick received her earliest introduction to music via the church.

"It was just in the way our congregation sang together," said the musician, who was born in Louisiana to a youth minister father and a homemaker mother and grew up in Missouri. "Spiritual music can run the gamut from jubilant to deeply mournful, and then you combine that with a lot of people singing together and it's a very inclusive, emotional thing - at least it always was for me, even as a little kid. I'm sure it absolutely informed the way I'm [making music] now."

With each album, however, Barwick experiments with new approaches, whether that means collaborating with outside producers, as she did with Alex Somers (Sigur Ros) on her sophomore album Nepenthe, from 2013, or stowing away in a cabin in upstate New York to write in solitude, as she did entering into the earliest stages of Will.

Though Barwick initially considered these solitary sessions a failure - "I thought going to a place … that was totally isolated would somehow spark a flood of creativity, but it's against my constitution to be totally alone," she said - she was able to adapt music recorded during the stay for roughly half the album. Barwick recorded the other half during sessions that spanned continents, tracking at the Moog Sound Lab in Asheville, North Carolina, at Haus, a new studio in Lisbon, Portugal, started by members of the band Paus, and beneath a nearby train underpass in the Portuguese capital.

"It was essentially a big, marble rectangle, and I would always sing in there, and one day I recorded a thing and took it back to the studio and messed with it and it became [the album opening] 'Saint Apolonia,'" she said. "I love singing in places like that; I always have."

Indeed, when Barwick, 37, described her earliest experiments with electronic looping, which started in earnest as she entered into her early-to-mid 20s, she focused on the sense of freedom inherent in the form - a trait that remains a hallmark of her work to this day.

"It was this fun, spontaneous thing where I didn't have to dwell on lyrics. It really appealed to all of my capabilities and just what I was drawn to as far as creativity, which was doing something that is very immediate, innate and quick, and not having to spend hours or days or months or years composing something," she said. "It's making something up on the spot and having that immediate surprise and joy. It's just this feeling coming through [in the music]. Everything about that appeals to me and works for me."