Julia Holter
Have You In My Wilderness


4.4
superb

Review

by Hernan M. Campbell STAFF
October 4th, 2015 | 277 replies


Release Date: 09/25/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "oh she's been marooned, can anybody help her?"

On Loud City Song we heard Julia Holter approaching her compositions with a keener interest in the immediacy of pop music. She was relying less on the atmospheric hazes and vaguely abstract compositions of Ekstasis and Tragedy to set the stage for her voice, and instead steered towards a much more focused and structured style of songwriting. There was a greater appreciation for warmth, symphonic depth, and lucidity that seasoned the music in Loud City Song, and these very qualities are what ascended the album to the status of Julia’s “most approachable and viscerally gratifying album” - but her latest output may be the successor for that particular title. Have You In My Wilderness not only explores the same musical sentiment of “accessibility over ambience,” but it takes an even more dramatic leap forward into pop territory. The album, more often than not, remains grounded in a style of moody chamber-pop in the vein of artists as vintage as Scott Walker (referring to his Scott series from the '60s) to even recent ones like Joanna Newsom. Julia’s creative agenda in Have You In My Wilderness basically boils down to finding that sweet spot between ambition and intimacy.

In terms of the structure and aesthetics of the songs themselves, comparatively, Julia shows little advancement from what she’s shown herself to be capable of accomplishing. She’s definitely more confident in her pop sensibilities than ever before, and as a result a number of tracks, such as the impressionistic “Feel You” and the wonderfully whimsical “Everytime Boots,” explore a sturdier, dulcet sense of melodicism and are ripe with ear-catching vocals. Julia’s approach to the production is also accentuated with a more contemporary sound that gives her miniature symphonies an unpretentious demeanour. “Lucette Stranded on the Island” and “Vasquez” are among a handful of songs that do sit on the more cerebral side of the musical spectrum, but even they are not riddled in esoteric artiness. Atmosphere once again plays a pivotal role in “Lucette,” and its billowing waves of immersing, Pet Sounds-esque chamber pop is a landmark to be encountered in the album. “Vasquez” is less scenic than “Lucette,” and instead brings a foggy, nu jazz feel to an album that rarely strays from the baroque and classically inspired framework. There’s even some hints of influences from artists like Hidden Orchestra within “Vasquez”’s disorienting amalgam of unrhymed prose poetry, swishy drumming, and chamber-jazz flourishes. ”Sea Calls Me Home” is another track that dissolves the prominent orchestral sound and explores the looseness of jazz; opening with infectiously catchy, Bach-accentuated pop before building up and erupting with a ‘60s avant-garde blowout. No matter the musical setting she constructs for herself, Julia never ceases to produce a mesmerizing tune. Despite the immediacy and mellifluousness of her instrumental arrangements, Julia's lyrics, however, remain clouded in poetic obscurity. She loves working with these vague yet evocative lyrical sketches that say just enough to communicate a mood and situation, but leave it to the listener to contemplate the meaning in her narrative. Deciphering the message in her words relies on just how much time the listener is willing to devote to the album, but with music this brilliant, the task seems all the more alluring.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2015


4501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

top 3 recommended tracks: lucette, feel you, and vasquez.





sorry for yet another late entry. i wanted to go for a more concise style this time, please let me know what you think. hope you enjoy the album and the review. leave thoughts about either. love y’all.

IHateRadiohead
October 4th 2015


342 Comments


inb4 the 1/1.5s get in here

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2015


4408 Comments


Have You In My Wilderness, not only

comma seems a bit unnecessary imo

Although despite the immediacy

redundant, you could just cut out "although"

other than that, review looks nice and concise. haven't checked this out yet, but will probably jam sometime tomorrow.

PostJosh
October 4th 2015


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

First album i ever bought at record store not knowing what i was getting into. Pleasant Surprise for sure!!!

plane
Emeritus
October 4th 2015


6732 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Really great review, Hernan. Yours is a wonderful rhythm.

Gyromania
October 4th 2015


22716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah great review man. "Julia’s creative agenda in Have You In My Wilderness basically boils down to finding that sweet spot between ambition and intimacy." this line in particular captures the essence of this album. after loud city song this seemed like the next logical step for her.

brainmelter
October 5th 2015


4220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh dang

Digging: Salami Rose Joe Luis - son of a sauce!

LordePots
October 5th 2015


37738 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

except that it is like, the most illogical step ever after loud city :/

Digging: Kitty - Miami Garden Club

RadicalEd
October 5th 2015


8500 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

"inb4 the 1/1.5s get in here"



The overwhelming majority of people like this and rate this highly.

Digging: Susanne Sundfor - Music For People In Trouble

LordePots
October 5th 2015


37738 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

not to mention that not a single person has this rated 1/5

Piglet
October 5th 2015


7285 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

last 3 songs are 5/5

LordePots
October 5th 2015


37738 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

except that vasquez is the only song on the entire album that warrants a rating higher than a 2/5

Piglet
October 5th 2015


7285 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you don't even like the way she sings on betsy?? is so beautiful and emotive it makes me feel giddy like a worm in a fish belly

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 5th 2015


24601 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

This intrigues me



Never heard Loud City Sound

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

zaruyache
October 5th 2015


17534 Comments


Been listening to her stuff in little bits since I learned that she existed... hopefully will jam the whole record soon.

Digging: Gabor Szabo - Dreams

Jade
Emeritus
October 5th 2015


10697 Comments


Lucette is such a wonderful tune

MyNameIsPencil
October 5th 2015


4927 Comments


My interest in this album is at an all time high now, feel like I'm missing out in not hearing Loud City

Hyndez
October 5th 2015


141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yo after being in every thread it feels that lorde pots is the biggest hater lmao.

Hyndez
October 5th 2015


141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

kids ratings are funnier than bill burr specials

treeqt.
October 5th 2015


16889 Comments


your 5s here



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