Julia Holter – ‘Loud City Song’

This is wild music, a celestial cabaret that absorbs and unsettles

Julia Holter’s breakthrough album, 2012’s home-recorded ‘Ekstasis’, concerned itself with obstacles in the way of human connection. Although bewitching, its considered ambience might have proved a comparable obstacle for listeners who don’t believe some music rewards patience. Excitingly, ‘Loud City Song’ has an immediate pop whirl that should make Holter’s genius apparent to all, without sacrificing the California Institute Of The Arts graduate’s knack for intricacy. Some credit should go to Cole M Grief-Neill, the producer/Haunted Graffiti member who brought Ariel Pink out of the bedroom – ‘This Is A True Heart’ bears a similarly smooth strut to Pink’s ‘Round And Round’. But the brilliant absurdity in these songs is all Holter’s own: the way she exclaims “Hats!” on ‘World’; the way she seductively shrugs Michael Jackson lyrics on ‘Maxim’s I’ and ‘Maxim’s II’, which billows like a sequinned gown, Holter hissing while the rubble of horns and timpani gnash around her. This is wild music, a celestial cabaret that absorbs and unsettles.

Laura Snapes

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