Julia Holter has been putting out some truly incredible records over the last few years. Her 2013 record, Loud City Song was one of our favorite records of that year. Tomorrow, the California based artist releases her latest record, Have You In My Wilderness on Domino Records.
Julia Holter’s appeal comes from the atmosphere she creates in her music. Her music is poppy, it can be sad, it can be happy, some of it grooves, and some of it is just stunning. There’s even an occasional whimsical quality to her music, especially in the way she pronounces certain words. The compositions here are incredible, there’s so much to the music on this record, but it never feels overdone.
On the first track, “Feel You”, Holter supplies a soundscape that’s classicly cinematic. “Silhoette”, the next track is an incredible track with a huge, almost overwhelming ending. “How Long?” is a much slower affair, similar sounding to “World” from Loud City Song, but features an ending refrain of “All the people run from the horizon”, and it’s almost hypnotic.
One standout track on Have You In My Wilderness is “Sea Calls Me Home” – it’s almost a 60’s pop track, it would almost fit in on Sgt. Pepper’s or Pet Sounds, but it has a strangeness to it that’s distinctively Julia Holter. “Everytime Boots” is another amazing track with a swing that goes into big build. “Betsy On The Roof” may end up being one of the best tracks of the year, it starts out with just Holter singing over piano before becoming this huge monster. The record comes to a close with the title track, “Have You In My Wilderness”, a perfect ending to a record, full of lush harmonies and beautiful string arrangements.
Have You In My Wilderness is a great record from one of the most interesting pop composers out there. On previous records, Holter drew inspiration from works of literature; on Have You In My Wilderness, she draws mostly from within. The result is some of Holter’s best lyrics, and an overall, more dense record. Musically, she draws from many different styles and genres, at times she can sound similar to Angel Olsen or Torres, at other times her music has the poppiness of The Beatles, or the throwback cinematic quality of Natalie Prass. What drew me to Julia Holter was seeing her live, I felt like I was transported out of that venue into, seemingly, wherever Holter wanted me to be. Every time I listen to her music, I feel the same way, in a way that is rarely experienced with any other artist. Have You In My Wilderness is no different, and perhaps her grasp has gotten stronger.
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