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Julia Holter - Aviary (Album Review)

Friday, 02 November 2018 Written by Milly McMahon

Photo: Dicky Bahto 

Julia Holter composes disparate noise projects, all designed to be deeply meditative. Constructing challenging, wide-ranging sonic spaces, interspersed with mesmerising sound patterns, her fifth LP ventures further into the irreverent than ever before.

Moving away from the formula of a studio album, and some of the pop strands that ran through her last album ‘Have You in My Wilderness’, ‘Aviary’ juxtaposes rhythm and melody with unique, experimental edges. This feels like the music Holter was destined to create, both for better and worse.

Holter is bold in her execution of unpredictable melodies, which initially present as difficult and hard to follow, while jarring noises and clashing instruments bring aggression and hostility to the landscape.

‘Aviary’ is a statement; a protest against a lack of intellect and adventure in electronic music.

Medieval themes, poetry and staccato solos characterise the album’s moods, which are spread across a 90 minute running time that requires the listener to commit and maintain an air of patience.

Sounds are stacked atop one another in teetering towers, reflecting the LP’s concerns about chaotic modern life, while themes of freedom, liberation and visions of Phoenix-like strength are reflected in the tracks I Shall Love 1 and Les Jeux To You. Perhaps these new beginnings and brave moments of self-actualisation helped lay the foundations for the album’s otherworldly aesthetic.

More of a project and piece of art, Holter seems confident in her audience’s ability to comprehend the mayhem reflected in this album. Words I Heard demonstrates her exquisite compositional talents at their finest, but a lack of context for the various anarchic battles contained on ‘Aviary’ occasionally weakens the impact of the piece.

Julia Holter Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu December 06 2018 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Fri December 07 2018 - BRISTOL Fiddlers Club
Sat December 08 2018 - DUBLIN Button Factory
Mon December 10 2018 - EDINBURGH Summerhall
Tue December 11 2018 - LEEDS Howard Assembly Rooms
Wed December 12 2018 - LONDON EartH - Hackney Arts Centre

Click here to compare & buy Julia Holter Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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