Album of the Week: Julia Holter | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Album of the Week: Julia Holter

Aviary Out Now via Domino

Oct 26, 2018 Robyn Bookmark and Share

Julia Holter has released a new album, Aviary, today via Domino and it’s our Album of the Week.

Aviary was initially inspired by a line from a 2009 short story by writer Etel Adnan: “I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds.” A previous press release pointed out that it’s a good metaphor for the daily bad news cycle we currently find ourselves in, especially in the modern political climate. “Amidst all the internal and external babble we experience daily, it’s hard to find one’s foundation,” Holter elaborated in the press release. “I think this album is reflecting that feeling of cacophony and how one responds to it as a person-how one behaves, how one looks for love, for solace. Maybe it’s a matter of listening to and gathering the seeming madness, of forming something out of it and envisioning a future.”

Holter later added: “In a lot of the songs, when I mention love, it’s about a seeking for compassion and humility in a world where it feels like empathy is always being tested.”

In J. Pace’s rave 8.5/10 review of Aviary he writes:

“Holter’s baroque textures and wildly ambitious musicianship imply this aviary’s particulars: wrought-iron, ornate and victorian, vast and overflowing with untended plant life. It houses-imprisons, displays-all of us, from the most shrill and petulant to the most muted and reserved. There are crows, mediating between life and death; eagles, all thunderstorms and resurrection; flocks of starlings expand and contract, canaries bound ahead into clean-coal mines, and repulsive vultures await their next opportunity. Phylum, family, species. What’s the kingdom? Who has the keys? 2018.

“We enter this bustling aviary via ‘Turn the Light On,’ a blinding spotlight, a cacophony of droning instruments and crashing drums that carries its wild energy into ‘Whether,’ one of a handful of pop-leaning songs you’ll receive in this intrepid hour and a half of music (yes, 90 minutes). ‘Pop’ here implies only the presence of quickly accessible melodies: each song is still resplendent with Holter’s challenging modulations and clipped, nervous vocal style. ‘I Shall Love 2’ is another example, charming immediately with its repeating instrumental refrain and victorious chorus, answering translated couplets from Dante’s Inferno (‘why do you squander?/why do you hoard?’) with an assured plan: ‘I shall love.’ Later, a masterpiece: ‘Les Jeux to You,’ which leads with insatiable piano-accompanied melody and explodes into lysergic Beatlemania, an archetypal Holter HitTMthat finds her effortlessly, almost perversely, intertwining musical idioms.”

Read the full review here.

Previously Holter shared a video for Aviary‘s first single, “I Shall Love 2” (which was our #1 Song of the Week). Then she shared another new song from the album, “Words I Heard,” also via a video (and it was also our #1 Song of the Week).

The Los Angeles-based artist released her fantastic fourth full-length album, Have You in My Wilderness, in 2015 via Domino (it made it to #4 on our Top 100 Albums of 2015 list). Since then she released the 2016 score for boxing drama Bleed For This, 2017’s In the Same Room, featuring her previous songs re-recorded live in the studio, and in January shared a new song, “So Humble the Afternoon,” as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program (it isn’t featured on the new album, but was one of our Songs of the Week).

Cole MGN executive produced Aviary, which was produced by Holter and Kenny Gilmore. The album also features Corey Fogel (percussion), Devin Hoff (bass), Dina Maccabee (violin, viola, vocals), Sarah Belle Reid (trumpet), Andrew Tholl (violin), and Tashi Wada (synth, bagpipes). Dicky Bahto directed the “I Shall Love 2” video and took Holter’s press photos. When describing Aviary, the press release says the album “combines Holter’s slyly theatrical vocals and Blade Runner-inspired synth work with an enveloping palette of strings and percussion that reveals itself, and the boundless scope of her vision, over the course of 15 songs.”

Read our 2015 interview with Holter.

Julia Holter Tour Dates:


Nov 24 - Explore The North Festival, Leeuwarden
Nov 26 - Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam
Nov 27 - Schauspiel, Bochum, Germany
Nov 28 - De Roma, Antwerp
Nov 30 - Funkhaus, Berlin
Dec 1 - Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg
Dec 2 - Brotfabrik, Frankfurt
Dec 3 - Kammerspiele, Munich
Dec 5 - Petit Bain, Paris
Dec 6 - Gorilla, Manchester
Dec 7 - Fiddlers, Bristol
Dec 8 - Button Factory, Dublin
Dec 10 - Summerhall, Edinburgh
Dec 11 - Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds
Dec 12 - Hackney Arts Centre, London


Feb 19 - U Street Music Hall, Washington DC
Feb 20 - Underground Arts, Philadelphia
Feb 22 - Warsaw, New York
Feb 23 - Brighton Music Hall, Boston
Feb 24 - La Sala Rossa, Montreal
Feb 26 - The Great Hall, Toronto
Feb 27 - El Club, Detroit
Feb 28 - Thalia Hall, Chicago
Mar 1 - Turf Club, St. Paul
Mar 4 - Imperial, Vancouver
Mar 5 - Doug Fir, Portland
Mar 6 - Neumos, Seattle
Mar 8 - Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
Mar 9 - Lodge Room, Los Angeles

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

boygenius: boygenius EP (Matador)

Robyn: Honey (Konichiwa/Interscope)

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: IC-01 Hanoi (Jagjaguwar)

Thom Yorke: Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film) (XL)

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apps forpc
October 27th 2018

iMessage on windows 7It is another cool feature of iMessage. Here you can send a video message to your friend and add animations as per your choice as well.

Freda Berg
October 29th 2018

I don’t know to sing but I actually love music. I will listen to the songs posted above. I might like it


Hearing Aid
October 30th 2018

Julia is one of my favorite artists that I recently discovered. Thanks for sharing!