Cruise Control: Julia Holter Floats into Barboza Tonight
by Dave Segal
on Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 8:06 AM
LA musician Julia Holter’s playing Barboza tonight in support of her new album, Loud City Song. A quick listen to it finds her back in fine “Julee Cruise with a PhD from Mills College” form: stoic ballads of sheer, hushed beauty and, in “Horns Surrounding Me," a deviation into elegant, drama-laden dance music.
Holter is also a pop artist, albeit one who's striving to elevate the form to standards previously set by experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson, most famous for her 1981 hit "O Superman." Brainy British music magazine the Wire recently published a big feature on Holter, but she's also earned a "Best New Music" rating on Pitchfork for Ekstasis. If intelligent artists like Zola Jesus and St. Vincent can blow up, perhaps there's room for Holter to enter the realm of high-IQ'd females popular enough to play massive festivals. Although her proclivity for writing songs that last 6 to 12 minutes and wield unsettling drones may cause some to fidget, Holter's nuanced melodies are undeniably enchanting.... Holter takes pop to graduate school and inflates it with valedictorian authority.