There is a subtle kind of beauty to the music of Julia Holter. Unlike a lot of her more popular female contemporaries, Holter does not rely on production gimmicks or vocal manipulations to draw people’s attention. Nor is she dependent on the power or the richness of her voice. Instead, Julia Holter is sort of a throwback singer. Indeed, Holter makes extensive use of musical history to create an avant-garde fusion of jazz and the neo-classical. Holter makes intelligent songs that are experimental and not always the easiest to digest. But once you get them, they are wholly satisfying.
Her breakthrough sophomore record, Ekstasis was an underrated gems and one of my favorites from last year. Ekstasis (as well as her first album Tragedy) makes references to Greecian tales. For her newest record, Loud City Song, Holter once again looks to the past, though not as far as before. The inspiration for Loud City Song is the 1950s French movie Gigi based on the 1944 Colette novel. (Unlike her earlier records, Holter ventured out of her Los Angeles bedroom to record Loud City Song with outside musicians.) The atmospherics of the record are such that it transports the listener to a certain place. In it, you feel like you’re really part of the scene from Gigi – watching the nouvue riche and the bourgeois walk by. Good records work your imagination. Loud City Song is that kind of record.
Stream the video for single In The Green Wild embedded below.
Julia Holter – Loud City Song comes out 8/20 via Domino (order here)