LA’s experimental pop goddess takes us on a trip through the visionary soundscapes of her imagination.
Classical and not-so-classical-at-all: Julia Holter’s music lies at a crossroads similar to the one where artists like Arthur Russell or Laurie Anderson reside. It’s the sound of an artist who has clearly been trained – in this case at Cal Arts with Michael Pisaro, and in India with harmonium guru Pashupati Nath Mishra. Holter’s songwriting stems from a mythological reverence of incomprehensible beauty; her 2007 EP Eating the Stars was a first attempt at musically transcribing this feeling, and her 2011 album Tragedy embraced similar strains of shimmer. But it was on Ekstasis where everything came together. Critically beloved, it was a record whose motivating character was best described by Holter herself: “Ekstasis reflects a desire to get outside of my body and find what I can’t define.” Then came Loud City Song, a panoramic adventure of an album, revealing her wild imagination and visionary soundscapes. In 2018, Holter released Aviary on Domino Records, a euphoric 90-minute album that’s perhaps her finest, most adventurous work to date. In her Fireside Chat, the experimental pop goddess revisits her first music experiences as a child, and details her artistic outlook at this moment in her career.