Tag Archives: Julia Holter

Julia Holter review round-up.

Here are links to a few reviews of Julia Holter’s latest, Loud City Song.

Ultimately, Holter doesn’t choose between the city and the wild, isolation and the collective. She says that the album is “about someone trying to find love and truth in a superficial society,” and it’s that deliberation and striving that it dramatises effectively. These are predominantly questions of youth and, accomplished as Holter is, she also sounds like someone still trying to figure things out. There is a searching, open-ended quality to her work, despite Loud City Song and Tragedy‘s impressive conceptual integrity. Each release is distinct and yet overlapping, like circles in a Venn diagram: ‘Goddess Eyes’ premiered on one album and appeared, twice, on the next; ‘Maxim’s II’ originated in the Ekstasis sessions.

[via The Quietus]

But the album doesn’t end with mismatched intentions, outsider status, and frustrated communication with the world. The light bounce of “This Is A True Heart” announces the difference, the trait that keeps Holter from falling into the bile of the gossipy society, from fading into jaded emptiness, and from that trap of the good voice that Byrne described. “These are true words/ speak heart,” she coos, over a breezy bed of fluttering flute, trombone bursts, and pizzicato strings, all wrapped together by an impossibly slinky tenor sax. That knowledge of self and willingness to speak it in the face of judgment, scrutiny, and dismissal is a rare power, Holter’s inner voice just as strong as her physical one.

[via Consequence of Sound]

Like Gigi herself, it is a work of perpetual self-invention, an extended state of becoming. Have pity on the inquisitory birds, because it’s impossible to look away.

[via Spin]

Though there’s definitely a narrative arc to the record, it doesn’t stick so close to the Gigi script to become tedious; Loud City Song moves with an internal logic that’s more impressionistic than literal. Some of its pieces do stand sturdily on their own, but taken in one sitting the album unfurls like one long, thoughtfully arranged composition– lyrics and images recur, and characters gradually evolve. The narrator at the center (Gigi? Holter? Some kind of poetic hybrid of the two?) begins as a detached, observant outsider– just another anonymous face gazing curiously at the city below from the perch of her fifth-floor walk-up (“I don’t how why I wear a hat so much,” Holter sings beneath the sparse groan of a cello on the opening song, “World”, “The city can’t see my eyes under the brim.”) But by the end– the second-to-last track, “This Is a True Heart” prances like a lazy-Sunday carousel ride– she sounds not only more vulnerable but lighter, too. In a way, the arc of Loud City Song mirrors Holter’s artistic evolution: Ekstasis found kindred spirits in statues and goddesses (“I can see you but my eyes are not allowed to cry,” she repeated on “Goddess Eyes II”, cloaked in a vocoder), but the psychologically complex narrator at the heart of Loud City Song moves like flesh and blood.

[via Pitchfork]

A beautiful reminder that we’re all doomed.

[via The Guardian]



1 Comment

Filed under Music

Julia Holter interview.

It’s somewhat of a coming-of-age story. It starts with that central choice of whether to run out in the wild and be free of others, or to be one with the city and embrace it and laugh at it at the same time. All the songs came out of that question, and each one is about this person investigating different approaches. It’s also themed around the loudness of society: media, gossip, celebrity obsession.

Julia Holter has a third LP, Loud City Song, coming in August, and Pitchfork has put up a brief interview with her. [via Pitchfork]


1 Comment

Filed under Music

Year in Music, 2012 edition.

I’ll keep this short. My notable albums of the year (in alphabetical order) were:

  • `Alleluia! Don’t Bend! Ascend! by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • Bloom by Beach House
  • Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  • The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do by Fiona Apple
  • Lonerism by Tame Impala
  • Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen
  • Shields by Grizzly Bear
  • Swing Lo Magellan by Dirty Projectors

It was a bit of a strange year in that no album felt earth-shakingly landmark, though who can really say how these albums will fare over time. If I had to pick a favourite one, it would probably be Swing Lo Magellan, because I can envision listening to that one for a long, long time, though most of these albums have been really quite fantastic.

Also don’t miss:

  • Attack on Memory by Cloud Nothings
  • Bish Bosch by Scott Walker
  • Clear Moon by Mount Eerie
  • Confess by Twin Shadow
  • Ekstasis by Julia Holter
  • Gossamer by Passion Pit
  • The Haunted Man by Bat For Lashes
  • Mature Themes by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
  • Shrines by Purity Ring
  • Until the Quiet Comes by Flying Lotus

And a special imaginary award goes to Atoms For Peace’s “Default”, which probably got the most playtime on my computer this year despite its relatively young age.


1 Comment

Filed under Music

New Julia Holter video.

A new Julia Holter video. This one’s for “Our Sorrows”. [via YouTube]


1 Comment

Filed under Music

Rojak: Morrissey, Middlemarch, et cetera.

Rojak is a regular collection of assorted links as well as a bulletin summarising the week (or thereabouts) on this blog.


Morrissey will be in Singapore on 8 May at Fort Canning. [via SISTIC]

A ten-foot tall panel illustrating Middlemarch. [via The Paris Review]

“What is your favourite word?”
“I don’t want to betray my lifelong dedication to them all.”
Q&A with Nadine Gordimer. [via The Guardian]

Review of Andrew Bird’s new album, Break It Yourself. [via Pitchfork]

Hmmmm. [via Conversational Reading]

Speakers at the Samuel Beckett: Debts & Legacies 2012 Seminar Series. [via A Piece of Monologue]

Julia Holter’s Ekstasis is out and you can buy it here. [via RVNG INTL.]


This week on WKLC:


Leave a comment

Filed under Rojak