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Úvodní stránka » RECORDS » Julia Holter — Loud City Song
Julia Holter Loud City Song (2013)

 Julia Holter — Loud City Song (2013)

             Julia Holter — Loud City SongOfficial logo for nominated artists
≡   "I'm not a project, I'm a person. I can do whatever I want." — Julia Holter
≡   The singer-composer stages a suite of songs about Los Angeles that range from spartan to chaotic...
Location: Los Angeles, California
Album release: August 19th, 2013
Record Label: Domino Recording Co.
Genre: Avant-Garde; Electronic; Pop/Rock
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock; Ambient; Experimental Electronic
Duration:     44:47
Tracks:
01 World     4:53
02 Maxim’s 1     6:07
03 Horns Surrounding Me     4:47
04 In the Green Wild     4:08
05 Hello Stranger     6:17
06 Maxim’s 2     5:29
07 He’s Running Through My Eyes     2:19
08 This Is a True Heart     3:31
09 City Appearing     7:16
Website: http://juliashammasholter.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/artist/julia-holter
Manager: Robin Hurley robin@sealevelmgmt.com
North American booking: Avery McTaggart avery@windishagency.com
EU booking: Bob van Heur — bob@belmontbookings.nl
Description from label:
≡   We're happy to announce the forthcoming release of Loud City Song, the new studio recording by Los Angeles based artist Julia Holter, set for release on August 19th, 2013. The album is Holter’s third full length release in as many years – following 2011’s groundbreaking debut Tragedy and last year’s follow-up, the critically lauded Ekstasis.
≡   Her first studio album proper, Loud City Song is both a continuation and a furthering of the fiercely singular and focused vision displayed by its predecessors, taking as it does Holter’s rare gift for merging high concept, compositional prowess and experimentation with pop sensibility and applying it to a set of even more daringly beautiful arrangements and emotionally resonant songs.
≡   The songs that make up Loud City Song have origins that pre-date 2011’s debut Tragedy — coaxed out and finessed as demos in Holter’s bedroom studio and then finally coalesced into one thrillingly cohesive experience in the latter stages of 2012 by Holter and co-producer Cole Marsden Greif-Neill and an ensemble of Los Angeles musicians. The result is an album of enormous ambition — Holter taking inspiration from Collette’s 1944 novella Gigi and using it as a prism through which to explore her relationship with her hometown of Los Angeles and modern life universally, taking cues from the work of Joni Mitchell and the poetry of Frank O’Hara but forging those touch-points into something resolutely unique.
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Photo by Rick Bahto
REVIEW
By Anthony Carew, About.com Guide; August 1, 2013
≡   When I interviewed Julia Holter in 2012, she was driving back to Los Angeles late at night after a day out of town. We talked as she piloted her car back home, the city rising up, a glittering metropolis materializing out of the horizon, like an oasis in the desert. Back in LA, she drove through empty streets, and eventually ended up at two favored haunts of DIY musicians: the late-night coffee shop and the copy shop. That vision of a city at night, half-abandoned, is evocatively evoked in "World," the opening song on Holter's latest LP. Calling Loud City Song Holter's 'Los Angeles album' carries with it connotations of coked-out Laurel Canyon clichés, but the composer's latest suite is, at its title suggests, a portrait of a city; its inhabitants, and the lives and histories that blow through it.
≡   "World" is utterly spartan, finding Holter singing a succession of vignettes in a soft voice, in front of bare backing of vocal harmonies and minimalist orchestral dabs. In isolation, the lyrical details sound absurd — Holter wears hats, even when running; she plays a game of tennis — but when she sees someone singing, eyes closed, in a fifth-floor-apartment window, thinks of her mother, it's an evocative portrait of life in a city. ≡   And it sets the theme for the album that will follow.
Julia Holter and Her Orchestra
≡   This opening is bookended by the album's final piece, "City Appearing"; a sister composition that closes Loud City Song with another striking portrait of metropolitan imagery, replete with more hat-wearing, and the images of an empty bar near closing time. Musically, however, the beginning minimalism grows into something epic and dramatic; its cymbal-splashing drums and plucked double-bass taking influence from the 'trio' mode of Holter's live performances, and reminding of post-rock's more orchestral, Rachel'sy type practitioners.
≡   In between, Holter offers up the most giddily melodic pop-song she's ever penned, "This Is a True Heart," in which her sweet voice skips gaily through pizzicato strings, dewy synths, and brassy highlights. "In the Green Wild" gallops along on the back of plucked double-bass, muted brass, and woodwinds that sound like deflated balloons. ≡   "Hello Stranger" is a beautiful ballad set to washed-out synths and seaside field-recordings, in which Holter's singing sounds out sad, clear, and true. And the related "Maxim's I" and "Maxim's II" are pieces of maximalist composition, using horns and percussion to create something bordering on cacophony; the latter cresting with wild squalls of free-jazz-ish saxophone.
≡   It's not as cogent, compositionally, as either 2011's Tragedy or 2012's Ekstasis, but you also get the sense that it's not supposed to be. The theme of a city is vague and opaque enough to lead Holter where she may; feeling, just as often, the setting for her various compositions, explorations, and predilections. Yet Loud City Song feels like a farther-reaching display of Holter's talents. The muddier, synthier elements of her home-made, self-played beginnings have been left behind for an album of orchestrations both bold and delicate; with Holter's voice, in the middle, sounding just as pristine as the recording.
Fortaken: http://altmusic.about.com/
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INTERVIEW
By Anthony Carew, About.com Guide
≡   Julia Holter is an artist whose unique works meet at an idiosyncratic intersection between conceptual avant-gardism, classical composition, and lo-fi synth-pop. Born from the same Los Angeles scene as Ariel Pink, Geneva Jacuzzi, and Nite Jewel, Holter made her first official full-length in 2011, with Tragedy staging a thoughtful exploration of Ancient Greek myth, in layers of fluttery synths and Holter's voice. It was followed a year later with a much-acclaimed 'sister' set, Ekstasis. Ekstasis proved one of the best albums of 2012, and essentially served as Holter's breakout album, introducing her music to a far-wider audience. Her memorable year was capped with a brilliant cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman" that quickly ricocheted through the blogosphere.
Interview: November 22, 2012
•   What were your beginnings making sound?
≡   "I started playing piano when I was eight. I'd wanted to play for years but never had a piano 'til my grandma got me one when I was eight. I always knew I wanted to play piano, I don't know where that came from. I specifically wanted to play classical music; I think I just enjoyed it from the start. I then went to a high-school that had a lot of focus on music, and that was good for me, otherwise I might've abandoned it; instead I stayed with it, and remained serious about it."
•   How serious were you? And was this a musical seriousness, or a careerist one?
≡   "It was only serious in that I was always playing, always writing. I didn't have serious ambitions in terms of my career. Or even really think about making this my job. ≡   I was pretty sure that I couldn't do that. I didn't regard myself that highly as pianist; I wasn't a virtuoso at all, I just loved playing the piano so much. At 15 I took some theory classes and it really helped me; after that I could just play all these pop-songs that I'd been listening to my whole life, like their secrets had been revealed to me. And, eventually, I decided that I wanted to be a composer."
•   Is that what you consider yourself to be, now? A composer?
≡   "I think of myself as a composer. I like to leave myself open to lots of different projects. I've recently been writing a lot of songs, and I think that that will continue, but if I call myself a songwriter it feels quite limiting to me. I don't think of myself as a project, I think of each of my albums as projects. Which means that every work I undertake can be radically different from the others, but it will still fall under my name, which is Julia Holter, because it is a work that I have done. To me, that's completely different to saying that I'm a songwriter, and I have this project called Julia Dream, or whatever. I want to do this for the rest of my life, writing music when I'm 65 for people to play with me."
•   How do you see those models, of composer and songwriter, as being so different, in your experience?
≡   "Because I started out, when I was studying music, as someone who was just working behind the scenes, I don't think of myself as a singer, or even a performer. I come out onto the stage if I want to, but if I do it it's as a performance, and not just as me. One of the good things about studying music was the way it helped me learn, how it challenged me. I'm a very intuitive writer, so I didn't need to go to school; I could've happily gone off and written music by myself. But in that collegiate setting, I had to really open myself up to other ways of working, and other possibilities; and that's something I'm really thankful for."
•   But, even as you're a composer, which sounds very lofty in some ways, you're still a musician in that DIY, punk-rock kind of way. How do you feel about that? About that fact that you have to go to the copy shop and get posters made? That you're doing everything yourself?
≡   "Well, first of all, let me say that I am very happy right now, because for the first time ever, I'm just doing music. And that feels incredible, and I feel so fortunate for that. But there are definitely things that I do not like about all the other stuff that you have to do that isn't music. Like, for so many people, they play in this band, but they're also in this band, and they also have to work a job to make money, and they want to do some production for other people, and they seem like they have barely enough time to do everything they want to do and rarely enough money to get the production to sound exactly like they want to. There are big drawbacks from doing everything yourself. Being a jack-of-all-trades is a mixed blessing. And, musically, if you define yourself as just being yourself, then I think your music can suffer; because even if you have the skill to do everything yourself, you're missing out on the benefits of collaboration, in keeping your music open to different ideas. Musically, I've really been lucky so far in that I've allowed my name to cover a lot of territory; so Julia Holter doesn't just mean me on stage, I could be performing with a friend, or any number of other musicians."
•   Is there a sense of vulnerability in trading under your own name, not having a project to shield you from the world?
≡   "I really like it so far. But, it must be said, I'm not exactly super-famous. Maybe, if a lot of people were interested in you, it would feel really revealing to just have your name on your records, but for me it's just felt super-liberating. Like: I'm not a project, I'm a person. I can do whatever I want."
•   Were Tragedy and Ekstasis albums that were born, first, as ideas, and then the themes dictated the sound?
≡   "Tragedy did. Ekstasis did not. Tragedy was formed as a concept, but Ekstasis wasn't like that at all. I actually was just going to make a seven-inch for (label) Rvng. (Intl.) of that song 'Goddess Eyes' — which was originally on Tragedy — but then it became an EP, and then it became an album. It was never intended to be something so expansive. I come to things in different ways. I start out everything I do with an idea, but that's always just a not-very-specific starting point; this thing to build off of, this idea that changes a lot as you go. Sometimes it's not like you're working with that one idea anymore, but collecting lots of other ideas that relate to it."
•   The world views those two LPs as sisters. Do you feel that way?
≡   "Yeah. I wrote them at the same time, so that's totally the main reason. And they share a song, as well as some thematic ideas. So they're definitely related in that way."
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Also:
Hanne Christiansen
http://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/16393/1/julia-holter-interview
Stephen Mejias:
http://www.stereophile.com/content/looking-forward-julia-holter%E2%80%99s-iloud-city-songi
http://www.stereophile.com/content/my-favorite-records-2012
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Julia Holter Loud City Song (2013)

 

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