9 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Don't get the wrong idea—just because Julia Holter has expanded her sound and her scope for her third album, Loud City Song, it doesn't mean she's leaped ill-advisedly into entirely foreign waters. It's not like the electronic art-pop auteur has gone country or something—just that after earning attention with the previous year's Ekstasis and finding herself on a larger label with more ears angled her way, she decided to open things out a bit. Holter's hypnotic, blown-glass vocal tones and gracefully angular, electro-minimalist approach to making music are still the defining factors here, but this album feels richer and more varied than its predecessor. Touches like the jazzy acoustic bass of "In the Green Wild," the staccato horn section punctuating the appropriately titled "Horns Surrounding Me," and the late-night piano languor of "He's Running Through My Eyes" all enhance Holter's approach. When she lays into an ambient-pop version of Barbara Lewis's '60s soul hit "Hello Stranger," it seems like there's nothing she can't do if she sets her mind to it.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Don't get the wrong idea—just because Julia Holter has expanded her sound and her scope for her third album, Loud City Song, it doesn't mean she's leaped ill-advisedly into entirely foreign waters. It's not like the electronic art-pop auteur has gone country or something—just that after earning attention with the previous year's Ekstasis and finding herself on a larger label with more ears angled her way, she decided to open things out a bit. Holter's hypnotic, blown-glass vocal tones and gracefully angular, electro-minimalist approach to making music are still the defining factors here, but this album feels richer and more varied than its predecessor. Touches like the jazzy acoustic bass of "In the Green Wild," the staccato horn section punctuating the appropriately titled "Horns Surrounding Me," and the late-night piano languor of "He's Running Through My Eyes" all enhance Holter's approach. When she lays into an ambient-pop version of Barbara Lewis's '60s soul hit "Hello Stranger," it seems like there's nothing she can't do if she sets her mind to it.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

Melanie Falsepercy ,

Metropolitan texture jam

For many of us, the entry point to Julia Holter's work was Exstasis. Because her work is so difficult to compare to most of what else is out there, it is tempting to first compare to Exstasis. So I will…

Exstasis is full of quirky twists and beguiling complexity. It rarely allows the listener a moment to rest in a particular sonic space - which is good and lends itself to multiple listens without the utter boredom typical of most indie music... In contrast, with Loud City Song, the moods are lengthy and compositional complexity less in the linear/structure domain than in the evolving texture of sounds. And what sounds they are. With Exstasis you could almost feel the home craft vibe but here the production is up several notches and feels robust and professional. Lots of actual instruments here rather than samples and sequencers. Lyrically, the world bubbling below Loud City Song is more accessible, full of the sounds, observations, and reveries of urban life that seem romantic and timeless.

After three months with Exstasis I thought, Julia Holter will record a great record someday. At six months I thought, wait - she already HAS. With Loud City Song, I think it's fair to say she has recorded two great records.

godly druqks ,

Great

Really enjoying the emotional intimancy of this album. It is beautiful. Love the way she pronounces certain words and sounds. Very interesting.

NIckasd4 ,

One of best albums in 2013

Mesmerizing

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