Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness Review

Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Julia Holter has recently released her fourth full length studio album after previously releasing three very strong efforts based around her light wistful vocals and sparse instrumentation. Have You In My Wilderness sees her try to continue on from her previous successes and at ten tracks this album limited space for album fillers and throwaway efforts so if she delivers in a similar versatile fashion again then another very strong album will be in the offing.

‘Feel You’ is a track that mixes thinly layered string sections with a delicate bass line and a pattering, tumbling percussion to deliver music of warmth and comfortable familiarity. This is only enhanced when Julia’s soft, swooning vocal sits atop of the instrumentation and entrances with each delicately performed line. Such a delivery highlights the growing monologue narrative which she goes on to deliver towards the end of the track. The key to this track is it’s subtle form, generating a little from a lot in terms of atmospheric quality and enticing the listener in. ‘Sea Calls Me Home’ opens with those buoyant organs that are reminiscent of ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys, but goes on to develop into a more intricate and contemplative track rarely wishing to stray into big vocal harmonies, instead venturing into sections of jolting saxophone and whistled harmonies. Another accomplished piece of delicate music.

‘Silhouette’ features a solid rhythmic quality via a nudging organ and a gently rolling bassline, but one that remains modest and understated as a foundation for the more sweeping sounds and elements of the track to fire from including those rising strings and Julia’s vocals themselves. She even utilises her vocals as a piece of instrumentation later in the track. The rising strings build the song up to a theatrical fruition in conjunction with Julia’s vocals which rise in sympathy before an abrupt ending to conclude an eloquent and sophisticated track. ‘Lucette On The Island is a more haunting and meandering track in terms of it’s delivery and structure. ‘How Long’ is similar in it’s haunting ways, but these come from more droning instrumentals and a lower toned vocal. The album generally has a similar feel and tone to it with the string sections being the key with perhaps ‘Everytime Boots’ being the only concession. It may sound a little stale as you get through the album, but this album delivers a deliberate and consistent theme delivered with a wonderful poetic narrative that is actually quite beautiful and sophisticated whilst furthering the less is more approach. Another very solid album from Julia.

Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness = 8.5/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

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