Julia Holter

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New album imminent and streaming here. Probably about time for her own thread.

Feebs K-Tel (NickB), Friday, 2 March 2012 09:51 (eight years ago) link

Have listened to this a couple of times this morning now and WOW JUST WOW

Feebs K-Tel (NickB), Friday, 2 March 2012 11:50 (eight years ago) link

Amateur hour.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Friday, 2 March 2012 11:52 (eight years ago) link

absolutely loved "Tragedy", but those 2 youtubes aren't doing it for me on first impression

zappi, Friday, 2 March 2012 11:54 (eight years ago) link

Ha well, I was very much on the fence with Tragedy so there you go. Something kind of Broadcast-ish about the new one to my ears, that same otherworldly-ness recaptured.

Feebs K-Tel (NickB), Friday, 2 March 2012 11:59 (eight years ago) link

weird, coz i'd say Tragedy was definitely Broadcast-ish, and that seems to be largely missing from those two songs above

zappi, Friday, 2 March 2012 12:06 (eight years ago) link

This one is a lot more song-based but still uses the same special spectral glue that kept the last one together.

Feebs K-Tel (NickB), Friday, 2 March 2012 12:10 (eight years ago) link

hmmm, guess i'll have to wait till i hear the rest of it then

zappi, Friday, 2 March 2012 12:20 (eight years ago) link

Just starting to listen to the album stream. I like the composition of this first one - I won't mind too much if it's the ambient stuff that gets lost in the wash, as I felt like that was the least interesting thing about her. I'm more interested in seeing where she goes with the classical/operatic influences in a pop sphere...

emil.y, Friday, 2 March 2012 12:34 (eight years ago) link

ah see i loved the found sound ambient stuff, "The Falling Age" was one of my favourite tracks last year, had an amazing David Lynch/Ligeti creepiness to it

zappi, Friday, 2 March 2012 12:45 (eight years ago) link

There are definitely a couple of tracks with a Broadcast-esque phrasing in here, but really, I'd say it sounds more like someone who has similar influences to Broadcast than someone who is indebted to them. There's more Laurie Anderson, y'know.

emil.y, Friday, 2 March 2012 12:53 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I wouldn't disagree at all, I was just struck by the similarity which had only just occurred to me.

Feebs K-Tel (NickB), Friday, 2 March 2012 12:57 (eight years ago) link

Okay, there's a 'Goddess Eyes' reprise type track on here? Not feeling it as much as the version on Tragedy. I was agonising for ages over what the vocoder bits of that reminded me of, by the way, and the answer is 'Amory Blaine' by John Sims.

emil.y, Friday, 2 March 2012 13:04 (eight years ago) link

FACT "Mix" is great// mainly field recordings of pop radio, says something to me about the comfort and/or loneliness of the FM space


merked, Friday, 2 March 2012 13:08 (eight years ago) link


^ this is great too btw - Julia Holter with Linda Perhacs, whose influence you can definitely hear in Holter's work.

Feebs K-Tel (NickB), Friday, 2 March 2012 13:09 (eight years ago) link

nite jewel on keys
JH plays on her rec also
end of public service announcement

(psyched for this rec because i always liked 'in the same room' more than any of JH's shortform stuff, really)

john-claude van donne (schlump), Friday, 2 March 2012 13:13 (eight years ago) link

oh right, i never knew that!

Feebs K-Tel (NickB), Friday, 2 March 2012 13:16 (eight years ago) link

this slays tho

john-claude van donne (schlump), Friday, 2 March 2012 13:17 (eight years ago) link

"Goddess Eyes II" is the biggest curveball for sure, not 100% convinced by its dubby radio pop metamorphosis. On the whole the album feels less unique than Tragedy at this point in time, she seems to be mining very zeitgeisty influences rather than striking out in her own soundworld. Still a very good album though!

Humperdin C.K. (seandalai), Friday, 2 March 2012 13:26 (eight years ago) link

listened to the stream now & thankfully them 2 videos definitely aren't representative, plenty here that i like, esp "In The Same Room" & "Fur Felix"
had no idea Linda Perhacs was playing live dates!

zappi, Friday, 2 March 2012 13:30 (eight years ago) link

Why sing when you can't sing? Why make the same "half an hour with a synth=a pop arrangement" crap as every other nobody? Marks of brilliance these are not. Things have changed since The Zombies were about.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Friday, 2 March 2012 13:36 (eight years ago) link

Those are interesting questions, which I'd be interested in discussing further. Perhaps you should start a thread about them, though, because they're not really relevant here.

emil.y, Friday, 2 March 2012 13:40 (eight years ago) link

Perhacs comparison otm, tho also I hear some Charming Hostess kinda avant-gardey Meredith Monk too. Almost kinda wish it was more Perhacs-esque; i love that sublime quietness in her voice. Ekstasis gets a little busy sometimes...

Mordy, Friday, 2 March 2012 13:52 (eight years ago) link

emil.y otm, i will derail this thread into the ground if someone is seriously pressing "Why sing when you can't sing?"

john-claude van donne (schlump), Friday, 2 March 2012 13:59 (eight years ago) link

I just think you good young people should be pushing for better.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Friday, 2 March 2012 14:19 (eight years ago) link

I hadn't really thought of the Perhacs comparison before, but yes, it definitely fits. Monk is a weird one, in that I don't associate the *sound* with anything of Monk's I've heard, but I would eat my hat if Holter wasn't a fan.

emil.y, Friday, 2 March 2012 14:23 (eight years ago) link

not really comparable, but while i'm listening to the album i can't help but think i'd rather be listening to the karen dalton album...

Mordy, Friday, 2 March 2012 14:28 (eight years ago) link

Between this, Grimes, and Frankie Rose, it seems that Pitchfork is on an 80s 4AD revival kick or something.

Evan, Friday, 2 March 2012 14:41 (eight years ago) link

Wait what there's a new album already?

mac and me (Ówen P.), Friday, 2 March 2012 15:16 (eight years ago) link

Comes out on Tuesday I think.

Feebs K-Tel (NickB), Friday, 2 March 2012 15:17 (eight years ago) link

tragedy is the fucking best

flopson, Friday, 2 March 2012 20:10 (eight years ago) link

It's streaming at NPR http://www.npr.org/2012/02/26/147294456/first-listen-julia-holter-ekstasis#playlist
I love this girl, Tragedy on vinyl was twice a gift last year

mac and me (Ówen P.), Friday, 2 March 2012 20:31 (eight years ago) link

listening to this today. enjoyed tragedy' but i like this more - a lot less reverb, thankfully.

nonightsweats, Monday, 5 March 2012 02:25 (eight years ago) link

put this in the "not for me but i respect what she's doing" pile. but i'm not crazy about all the laurie anderson comparisons. laurie anderson is hilarious, julia holter is not.

congratulations (n/a), Friday, 9 March 2012 20:03 (eight years ago) link

Wait what there's a new album already?

― mac and me (Ówen P.), Friday, 2 March 2012 15:16 (1 week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

some of it is older, i think, has circulated on mixes for a while

john-claude van donne (schlump), Saturday, 10 March 2012 11:54 (eight years ago) link

She was working on the two albums simultaneously

Number None, Saturday, 10 March 2012 15:42 (eight years ago) link

She went to school w/me! Psyched that she is talk of all the towns. Also from that FACT mix, I can tell she must live in my neighborhood.

Luomas (admrl), Saturday, 10 March 2012 17:41 (eight years ago) link

i am liking this. i get the broadcast comparisons and hear sian alice group as well. there's a lot to absorb from this record though, those are only my first impressions.

borntohula, Saturday, 10 March 2012 18:39 (eight years ago) link

yeah, def feeling this altho it may take a few listens to sink in

althea and (donna rouge), Monday, 12 March 2012 16:30 (eight years ago) link

Enjoying this a lot, definitely hear some Broadcast influences.

MikoMcha, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 07:43 (eight years ago) link

overstuffed, dull

caulk the wagon and float it, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 13:26 (eight years ago) link

What does overstuffed mean?

MikoMcha, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 13:52 (eight years ago) link

this is not what i expected, far more pedestrian than tragedy; i liked it better when i didn't get julia holter but thought it was my fault, rather than the music's.

it's so SMALL sounding but not in a good way, not in an immersive detailed way, just...thin. and her voice is so mimsy

lex pretend, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 18:00 (eight years ago) link

I really like her approach to melodic and harmonic development here, nearly every song ends in a completely different place to where it began and there are so many point when a new melodic line will come in at the most gorgeous moment. I don't understand the "overstuffed" comment upthread, it's actually pretty light (and the points where it falls down are where it isn't).

Homosexual Satan Wasp (Matt DC), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 19:44 (eight years ago) link

i honestly thought it was kind of...melody-averse. i spent a lot of time waiting for things to happen. not as much as on tragedy though.

a couple of the songs near the end are better.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 19:50 (eight years ago) link

I'm pretty adverse to 'ethereal vocals' in general, but I quite like this. Sound great over my morning coffee, making breakfast - I always need records like that :)

MikoMcha, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 20:23 (eight years ago) link

"four gardens" is my favorite on this i think

althea and (donna rouge), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:06 (eight years ago) link

i keep singing the "many many moons" bit to myself

althea and (donna rouge), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 21:07 (eight years ago) link

i honestly thought it was kind of...melody-averse. i spent a lot of time waiting for things to happen

It's not melody averse at all, but the songs are sort of structured like classical pieces where the really obvious melodies aren't necessarily there and upfront and centre, it takes time to reach them. I'm thinking of songs like 'Fur Felix', where it plays around over the top of that cello figure for ages and then consolidates into this really lovely repeated refrain, and then it starts undercutting it and breaking it up.

I can understand not really liking the aesthetic, but she knows exactly what she's doing. It's really light in terms of production and arrangement but there's a lot going on, it's not slight at all. Way better than the other 4AD artists mentioned on this thread.

Homosexual Satan Wasp (Matt DC), Thursday, 15 March 2012 15:43 (eight years ago) link

like a Paul Bley album from 1986

Not to derail the thread but this lead me to his record with Chet Baker which is so damn near perfect right now I suspect witchcraft.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Tuesday, 13 November 2018 21:22 (one year ago) link

is it? fragments with surman, frisell & motian is about the most perfect ecm album imaginable.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 13 November 2018 22:19 (one year ago) link

I'm listening to this now - thanks for the recommendation. ECM is a lifetime's project.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:09 (one year ago) link

The way the ground shifts under Another Dream.

Seeing her in two weeks and then again a week later with the Tashi Wada group. Can't wait!

I like Poeltls (fionnland), Saturday, 17 November 2018 09:36 (one year ago) link

I just found her NTS mix of inspirations for Aviary. It's fascinating if you've been spending a lot of time with the album, and confirms some of the comparisons above.


jmm, Saturday, 24 November 2018 15:36 (one year ago) link

Excited to listen to that mix. Really amazing album.

An Uphill Battle For Legumes (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 24 November 2018 17:04 (one year ago) link

Holy hell, she's into Steve MOTHERFUCKING Tibbetts.

I want to have her babies.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Saturday, 24 November 2018 19:10 (one year ago) link

Notice that he has a writing credit on "Why Sad Song." I didn't realize it was a quasi-cover. The original is the final track in the NTS mix.

jmm, Saturday, 24 November 2018 23:43 (one year ago) link

that nts set is great, thx for posting

flopson, Sunday, 25 November 2018 00:28 (one year ago) link

Cool video.


jmm, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 00:06 (one year ago) link

The concert in the Funkhaus in Berlin on the East side of the river Spree was brilliant. The venue, the old GDR radio building is quite special with the wooden floor, the maybe 10 Meter high ceiling, the steps you sit on and finally the stage which is rather in the middle and not at the end of the hall. I really enjoyed that I could clearly distinguish each instrument. Especially the restrained melancholic trumpet sound was amazing but I even loved the violin (usually I am not a big fan). Not to speak of the sonorous double bass, the bagpipes and the percussion. Holter's way of singing does not cease to impress me. The often pretty complex melodies and harmonies of the songs are in her voice which somehow often seems to go up and is really uplifting and transcendental. I really got used to the openness of the songs. My favourite was the encore "Betsy on the Roof" from "Wilderness" where her voice visits places nobody's voice has ever been to. Grand cru.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Saturday, 1 December 2018 23:16 (one year ago) link

Envious! Glad you had a good time and I hope I get to see her with this expanded band. Has the setlist differed much from this one: https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/julia-holter/2018/schauspielhaus-bochum-germany-23972457.html ? Other than "Betsy" for the encore.

ˈʌglɪɪst preɪ, Saturday, 1 December 2018 23:19 (one year ago) link

There were other small differences to that setlist. First they started with the calm "In Gardens' Muteness" and only then played the loud cacophonous "Turn the Light on" which sounds like they tune their instruments. I found that a good choice to go from silence to noise and not the other way round. And then there was "I Would Rather See" which she wanted to play solo on harmonium next time. The songs sounded all a little different than on record, not as explicit, slightly estranged. It was a magic evening.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Sunday, 2 December 2018 08:43 (one year ago) link

I was there too, Alex. Great gig. Wonderful sound. My only quibble with the Funkhaus is that it is uncomfortable sitting on the wooden floor/steps.

Duke, Sunday, 2 December 2018 14:24 (one year ago) link

You are right about that, I sat on the right side quite close to the stage and after about an hour or so as there was nobody behind me l laid down and stretched out my legs. I am not so sure about the sound actually,
I hardly understood anything of her in-between song banter. But the reason was probably that she kind of whispered into the mike.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Sunday, 2 December 2018 14:50 (one year ago) link

She speaks so slowly that its actually hard to follow.

Matt DC, Sunday, 2 December 2018 14:52 (one year ago) link

I think she spoke quite fast (in interviews she speaks slowly and articulates very well and is easy to understand), she seemed a little nervous and I had the impression that she spoke more to herself than to the audience.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Sunday, 2 December 2018 15:00 (one year ago) link

both times I’ve seen her she’s nervously made lots of goofy in-jokes between songs

my name is leee john, for we are many (NickB), Sunday, 2 December 2018 15:09 (one year ago) link

sounds great you guys, would like to see her in a setting like that

niels, Sunday, 2 December 2018 19:16 (one year ago) link

her voice is so mimsy

― lex pretend, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 18:00 (six years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I've had the beginning of I shall love 2 in my head all morning where her vocals are indeed very mimsy, and it's made me realise how enamoured I am becoming both with this album and with those sorts of affected, contorted vocals more generally. I think her singing is great on this, she sounds v much like herself. All her albums have drawn power and dynamism from a sense of scale, that comfort & delight in personhood, the intimacy of being your small self in a vast swirling world. it's v affecting and charming to me.

ogmor, Wednesday, 5 December 2018 10:33 (one year ago) link

Nothing like a excellent show to solidify your favourite album of the year, or maybe it’s an excellent album that’s solidifying my show of the year. In any case Holter is the cement that is setting quickly around my 2018 highs. Beautiful night. V well behaved audience.

Tashi Wada (who was the bagpipes and synth tonight) is leading a show with Holter next week and I think it will be quite different, but still cannae wait

avoid drinking on an empty liver (fionnland), Thursday, 6 December 2018 22:49 (one year ago) link

Ugh, jealous. I'm weighing whether to make the trip to Montreal to see her in February. I'm dying to hear what something like "Chaitius" will turn into live.

This is pretty easily my favourite album of the year.

jmm, Friday, 7 December 2018 00:34 (one year ago) link

it was a really good show, she was extremely feeling herself in a way I found q inspirational and the audience were suitably enthralled. I have quite a way to go with getting a grip on this album and chaitius in particular is obscure w/ all the occitanian troubadour biz. it was quite fragmented live, but everything seemed simpler and breezier, more a matter of flowing between moments. she wrote "stay sweet in the melting world" on the album I bought. I'm glad she didn't write "the bananas are getting yellow!!!"

ogmor, Friday, 7 December 2018 10:06 (one year ago) link

Cosign whoever it was who said this is a totally different album on headphones, there's so much digital trickery flying around the vocals in places, hidden sounds that are only noticeable up close.

Matt DC, Friday, 7 December 2018 10:14 (one year ago) link

Giving it my first listen after staying prudently away (don't know her well, I liked HYimW to some extent).
So far I really like its fragmentary and chaotic flowing nature, though it occasionally stalls (she did lose me around Everyday Is-Another Dream). I must be liking long open-form albums more than before. The one artist I think of is not Laurie Anderson or Coltrane but Meredith Monk; the three work of course, as it's both composed and free. Nice chameleon of an album, it is like a cascading collage of sounds, and after a while you forget that each minute is its own little pond. Impressive. Still five tracks to go.

Nabozo, Friday, 7 December 2018 15:36 (one year ago) link

She ducked under the synth and gave a few of us at the front a goofy wave at one point that made me chuckle. It's a good contrast - how playful she is within the very structured pieces of music.

avoid drinking on an empty liver (fionnland), Friday, 7 December 2018 18:57 (one year ago) link

OTM, I found her unexpectedly playful as a live performer, too.

I put on the new LP tonight for the first time and it was kind of blowing my mind. I was distracted with work tho. Gonna have make time to listen again when I can get nice and stoned and give it my undivided attention.

davey, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 10:30 (one year ago) link

Also now tempted to splurge on some fancy headphones especially for the occasion

davey, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 10:36 (one year ago) link

This album is amazing. And only gets more amazing on headphones, 'tis true.

Lj, what is your beef with her? You seem to aggressively dislike her for some reason. Just wondering.

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 13 December 2018 15:53 (one year ago) link

the music bores me and there's so much of it and it's so in love with itself

imago, Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:21 (one year ago) link

I had follow up questions but tbh your answer is sufficient. Diff strokes I guess?

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:24 (one year ago) link

yeah plus i listened to it all two and a half times in a row which was long enough for sentiment to calcify

imago, Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:28 (one year ago) link

How would you all rate this record in her overall catalogue? I've been dabbling in some of her older music (only having heard a few songs previously), but haven't connected with anything in quite the same way. I should probably just pick an album and listen to the whole thing.

jmm, Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:34 (one year ago) link

I still prefer To Have You in My Wilderness but I think if you like her you will like them all*

*I am not an expert by any means wrt Holter

No Smockin' (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:47 (one year ago) link

In the Same Room! It's amazing and is nothing but highlights!

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 13 December 2018 22:54 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

finally getting properly into Have You In My Wilderness, just in time for seeing her live in a few days

i still find "Feel You" and "Sea Calls Me Home" quite awkward rhythmically and they're probably what stopped me for so long, being almost something i'd like but not quite. it turns out the rest of the album has a very similar appeal to Aviary, just less sprawling

ufo, Saturday, 19 January 2019 14:09 (one year ago) link

saw her last night in sydney, so good, vastly better than the previous show i caught (2013! shit)

expanded band really delivers

kept getting robert ashley vibes - something to do with the oblique approach to vocal styling maybe? or maybe just general sense of US 80s "artiness", dunno

umsworth (emsworth), Sunday, 20 January 2019 23:18 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Report from Brooklyn: She and her band were tremendous tonight. "Aviary" translated beautifully and her older stuff sounded great as well. Go see her.

Carly Jae Vespen (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 23 February 2019 05:49 (one year ago) link

she was really wonderful when i saw her last month

ufo, Saturday, 23 February 2019 05:50 (one year ago) link

Very excited for Friday. Loud City Song tour was already overwhelming to me, so I can barely imagine how this one will feel.

geoffreyess, Tuesday, 26 February 2019 05:25 (one year ago) link

You're in for a treat. I love this band's use of electronics, too. Both the violinist and trumpet/fleugelhorn player use some sort of laptop based treatments for their instruments and the Prophet - 6 is also a big part of the sound.
If you love early Kate Bush and / or early solo Sylvian you should run and get a ticket. I haven't heard anyone else tap into a lot of the same artistic qualities as those particular records so well - perhaps inadvertently but who cares? Not taking away from Holter's originality as an artist but there certainly were echoes - for me - of KB, Akiko Yano's late '70s stuff, solo Sylvian with Hassell and even some Witchseason label vibes ( especially the sax playing ). Just ticks off many of my boxes when it comes to music I love.

Carly Jae Vespen (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 26 February 2019 14:58 (one year ago) link

The thing I *don't* overtly hear in her current music is the Vangelis/Alice Coltrane influences that pop up in recent interviews and press. More Sun Ra, if you ask me, when her band blows together.

Carly Jae Vespen (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 26 February 2019 15:02 (one year ago) link

I was at the BK show. Sounded incredible, producer Kenny Gilmore was on sound for it too. Yeah, blew me away, her voice live were better than on record. The Aviary stuff was great and all the old ones were beautiful too. The only time I had previously seen her was at a smaller performance near Lincoln Center where she was with a small group of violinists etc. that i don't think she had previously worked with. It was brilliant but definately more of a formal performance. Was cool to see her bring the same level of professionalism to a more casual concert setting. She's incredible, you should all see her live. Was a pretty magical experience.

gman59, Tuesday, 26 February 2019 17:18 (one year ago) link

seeing her monday

flopson, Tuesday, 26 February 2019 17:35 (one year ago) link

Yeah her live show is fantastic and joyful, and I don't even like Aviary that much.

seandalai, Tuesday, 26 February 2019 20:56 (one year ago) link

three months pass...


ˈʌglɪɪst preɪ, Saturday, 1 June 2019 21:31 (one year ago) link


jmm, Sunday, 2 June 2019 13:41 (one year ago) link

three months pass...


Excited for this! Tickets available today for Leeds and Barbican.

Caught her, Tashi Wada, and Corey Fogel at Soup Kitchen last week and it was just wonderful soundscapes. Corey is so inventive and interesting to watch. Would really love a recording of just this trio.

I agree that the "I" is a pretty heavy concept (fionnland), Friday, 20 September 2019 12:15 (ten months ago) link

I was at the same gig, loved it. nue is such an inviting record, looking fwd to another record from him

ogmor, Friday, 20 September 2019 12:34 (ten months ago) link

anyone see her solo set in london the other day?

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 20 September 2019 17:39 (ten months ago) link

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