Album: Loud City Song
Record label: Domino
Holter's newly expansive sound is occasionally majestic but is sometimes too dull to resonate
With two of her previous releases, the full- length "Ekstasis" and the "Goddess Eyes EP", Julia Holter met Laurie Anderson in a dark alleyway and transformed her sonic excursions into tuneful if skeletal shards of barely- there beauty. On "Loud City Song" her sonic palette is transcended further into worlds surrounded of woodland lushness and peaceful eloquence, as well as old ties well met (see "Hello Stranger"). However, the problem with "Loud City Song" is that only a handful of tracks resonate with the depiction above.
"Maxim's I" contains gorgeous layers of softly but prominently handed keyboard chords and swelling, ethereal violins as Holter surrounds herself in nature. "Horns Surrounding Me" sees her breathlessly running from time itself ("Don't forget how young we are"), soundtracked by a cacophony of rising, dramatic horns. However, "Loud City Song's" theatrics aren't always pleasant on the ears. On "World" the arrangements are almost too spacious, and the song hangs about long after it's welcome. "Maxim's II" is a bombastic reprise of the opener, but melodically it's simply irritating.
Holter's newly organic imaginings are sometimes enchanting, but often times too dissonant or bare to really be captivating. However, wielding this new sonic territory in her hands she COULD form a masterpiece someday. Fingers crossed.
Key tracks: Horns Surrounding Me, This is a True heart, Maxim's I
For fans of: Scott Walker, Kate Bush, These New Puritans