Artist of the week: Julia Holter
In an North American indie music arena defined by artists that have shaped their songcraft in a circuit comprised by the bedroom and the road, Julia Holter is a rare example of an erudite composer that has managed to reach a level of critical acclaim and a cult following that is both refreshing and perplexing: her songs seem to inhabit a world of its own, somewhere between classical music and jazz-infused post-rock, that seems to be immune to either trends and ideas of coolness, pretty much in the vein of the work of Joanna Newsom.
Born in a musically inclined family, Julia Holter started to release music with an impressive rate as soon as she finished her CalArts graduation in electronic music. After some fruitful collaborations, CD-Rs and live recordings, she released a Euripides’ Greek play inspired debut LP Tragedy in 2011, soon followed by the haunting Ekstasis in 2012. Nevertheless, her experimental-pop musicianship fully blossomed in 2013’s Loud City Song, a loose and very personal interpretation of 1958 MGM musical Gigi. The record ended up being championed as the best record of the year by the influential avant garde music magazine The Wire.
Her new album, Have You In My Wilderness, is, by far, her most sunny and accessible record to date, an irresistible cycle of songs that manages to be intimate without loosing any of the enigmatic charm that has defined her music. The perfect entrance to the work of one of the most fascinating composers and performers of the decade.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.