Daily Discovery: Julia Holter – Loud City Song

Mason McGough

Julia Holter-Loud City Song

One mark of a truly unforgettable artist, whether you like them or not, is the ability to craft an entire environment around a meager supply of instruments and lyrics. Loud City Song accomplishes this with aplomb of course— but your enjoyment of this record will ultimately stem from your willingness to step into Holter’s eerie world.

Underwriting the album’s rich symbolism is a counterpoint between scenes of nature and imagery of French gentry. In “Maxim’s I,” a diatribe against upper-class pretension is begun with the portrayal of birds watching the singer. After becoming part of the ambient gossip herself, Holter changes into one of these “inquisitory birds.”

But perhaps more interesting than the original song is its reimagining four tracks away; “Maxim’s II” borrows the same lyrics—but casts it in a violent din more reminiscent of Scott Walker’s “Epizootics” than the original song.

The most obvious takeaway from the record is perhaps “In The Green Wild.” This is in part due to its catchy chorus and eclectic rhythm, but also because it most vividly portrays that tense boundary between an honest love for nature and a contempt for the Gil Blas lifestyle of her character’s peers. It’s a heady, disorienting experience, a lot like watching Last Year at Marienbad.

Recommended if you like: These New Puritans, Max Richter, Scott Walker
Check out: “In The Green Wild,” “Horns Surrounding Me,” “This is a True Heart”