Since the beginning of the decade, Julia Holter has expressed herself through simultaneously “poppy” and experimental music: she does not toe the line between pop and experimental, but rather masterfully bends and slaps it in the same that the way Hendrix mercilessly treated his guitar strings. With the release of her critically-acclaimed 2015 album, Have You in My Wilderness, Holter focused her avant-garde tendencies into a more conventional and acces- sible musical palate—but not anymore. On her most recent album, Aviary, Holter creates a 90-minute kaleidoscope of entrancing sounds. It is as unabashedly complex as it is meandering and free; it is truly creation for the sake of creation. Aviary begins with “Turn the Light On,” a piece centered around Holter screaming, with some combination of pleasure and pain, as she holds back an orchestral wall of sound. With tracks like “Chaitius” and “Voce Simul,” modern clas- sical composers such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich seem to occupy her mind much more than rock pioneers such as Radiohead and Joni Mitchell. In fact, the whole album lacks any semblance of rock or recognizable style; Holter successfully deconstructs the sounds around her to create a beautifully unconventional world that we can all live in.
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