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Alternative & Indie - Released August 19, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

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"There's a flavor to the sound of walking no one ever noticed before," Julia Holter sings at one point on her third album, Loud City Song, and if anyone could notice that, it would be her. Holter excels at bringing emotional depth to her high-concept music and never more so than on this set of songs, which feels as ambitious as Tragedy and Ekstasis, but more down to earth. This may be her most accessible work yet, perhaps because of its relatively contemporary setting: drawing from Colette's 1944 novella Gigi (as well as the 1958 musical film it inspired), Loud City Song explores the city, celebrity, the individual, and love in fin de siècle Paris and 21st century Los Angeles, blurring them together in ways that get at more universal truths. In Gigi's time or Holter's, there are people who love spectacle, celebrity, and gossip, and Holter examines this brilliantly in the two-part "Maxim's." Named for the famed Parisian restaurant, the first part fades in like a glittering mirage coming into view, and as she breathlessly wonders, "Into Maxim's we will see them walk/Will they eat a piece of cheese or will they talk?," Holter captures the banal curiosity of the celebrity-obsessed. "Maxim's II" goes a step further, with woozy brass sliding from old-school musical charm into free jazz chaos that implies Holter made good on her threat: "Say it to my face/If you want to be starting something." Even at its noisiest, Loud City Song sounds expensive; this is the first album Holter recorded in a professional studio (which is noteworthy, considering how sophisticated the home-recorded Tragedy and Ekstasis sounded). Gorgeously arranged strings, brass, and harpsichords grace songs like "World," which gently and poignantly introduces the claustrophobia that fully emerges on the stunning "Horns Surrounding Me," where hurried footsteps and insistent brass give the impression of a stylized hunt. The lavish surroundings also bring some of Holter's catchiest songs yet to life: rustling flutes add to "This Is a True Heart"'s bittersweet sophistication while a jaunty acoustic bass provides the backbone for the fascinating "In the Green Wild," which sounds like the perfect blend of Joni Mitchell and Laurie Anderson. Cerebral pleasures like these are balanced by emotional ones such as the torchy snippet "He's Running Through My Eyes" and an ethereally sensual cover of Barbara Lewis' "Hello Stranger" that slows everything down to bask in the beauty of Holter's voice, which is often overlooked given all the other things going on in her music. In that regard, this album is no exception; with all the intriguing details in the words and music, there's a lot to digest. Loud City Song is Holter's most polished work to date, and another example of how she upholds and redefines what it means to be an avant-garde singer/songwriter. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released October 26, 2012 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2015 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 26, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Julia Holter's passion? Shocking herself and shocking us. Her first album, Tragedy, painted pictures of ethereal lands with infinite horizons. Ekstasis, with its superb opening number (Marienbad), was an attempt to restore some structural logic to a writing style that was moving more towards explorations of the unknown. She succeeded in re-finding this logic with 2013's Loud City Song which remains the shortest and most balanced of her albums. Five years later, Holter is done striving: she wants to have fun. Aviary, a very odd album, takes us on a breathless tour through all the important influences that have fed Julia Holter's creativity, from Renaissance polyphony and minimalism to modern and classical orchestration. These tracks seem to change like the wind in terms of structure, like clouds filled with crazy and beautiful contrasts which she’d never thought of before. Chaitius starts off like an Elizabethan In Nomine with various modern reorchestrations suddenly superimposed upon it. Is this pop music? Really? Suddenly, with a whisper, Julia Holter's voice whisks us off to a kind of cabaret: more urbane, but still pretty crazy – instruments on fire, keyboards gone wrong, and all the while with rampant, obsessive polyphony! Just where are we exactly? The next number won't help you at all in figuring it out, because all of a sudden we're in a Habanera dream with Voce Simul. Hispanic sounds, diffused light and instrumentation, and a voice covered in sensuality (even when a toybox, presumably the same as we hear in Marienbad, threatens to derail the vibe). The following track, Everyday Is an Emergency, starts with a mess of screeching whistles and horns before our artist steps forward to play the role of liberator, bringing a shining message of peace and love. It's breathtaking! And this is only the stat of the journey... And how could we not mention the revisited Sprechgesang which is Colligere? Strange, flighty, generous: perhaps Julia Holter has finally found her true calling, she certainly still has a keen mind. This is a must listen. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2015 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 31, 2017 | Domino Documents

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 25, 2020 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 12, 2020 | Domino Recording Co

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Film Soundtracks - Released March 13, 2020 | Back Lot Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 16, 2012 | Domino Recording Co

Alternative & Indie - Released February 25, 2014 | Human Ear Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 2010 | NNA Tapes

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 18, 2014 | Domino Recording Co

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Film Soundtracks - Released April 10, 2020 | Milan Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 26, 2015 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 6, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop/Rock - Released November 22, 2012 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 16, 2016 | Domino Documents

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 15, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 9, 2015 | Domino Recording Co

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Julia Holter in the magazine