Julia Holter Have You In My Wilderness Domino
Julia Holter’s last record, Loud City Song, made a serious impact across the end-of-year lists back in 2013. That album was a huge accomplishment; ambitious in its thematic approach, experimental instrumentally and palpably atmospheric, which is perhaps why – rather than try to top it with another LP in the same vein – the Los Angeles native instead took a left turn with Have You in My Wilderness.
This is an altogether more intimate affair than Loud City Song, largely shorn of the overarching narratives and oblique literary references that had so often coloured Holter’s previous work. In fact, this is probably the most accessible record she’s made to date. It’s not that there is any shortage of the avant-garde approach that she made her name with, there is glacial majesty in the languid, orchestrally-underpinned likes of How Long? for instance, as well as minimal, airy charm over the course of the six-minute Betsy on the Roof, which is punctuated by choppy piano. Instead, the album has real pop credentials, especially with tracks like the breezy Everytime Boots and Silhouette, where lush vocals wash over an off-kilter beat.
The road to mainstream success is littered with artists who have tried and failed to make that jump all too suddenly; it’s something you suspect Holter won’t have any trouble with. Have You in My Wilderness sees her positively gliding towards accessibility; she sacrifices none of her experimental credentials, but demonstrates no fear of allowing her sound to evolve either.