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Boomkat Product Review:
Julia Holter's first album recorded in a studio, 'Loud City Song' is a triumph of experimental, romantic pop ambition. Her successor to 'Ekstasis' and the dream-like 'Tragedy' (our album of the year in 2011) takes a sun-drunk, celebrity-obsessed modern LA and a noirish 1950s Paris as her conceptual backdrop - as opposed to classical Greek myths - for a breathtaking narration supported by a cast of musicians including her live band, Corey Fogel (percussion) and Christopher Votek (cello), with backing vocals by Nite Jewel and assistant producer Cole Marsden Greif Neill, among many others. Inspired by the 1944 novella 'Gigi' by French writer Colette (later adapted for film and stage), Julia transposes the story of a young woman groomed to be a courtesan for high society Paris into present day LA's superficial world of paparazzi chases and banal reality TV, using a range of conceits including her favoured field recordings and Cageian techniques and the full frequency specturm of her massed ensemble to suspend disbelief by a silken thread and shape a sort of sonic fiction conducive to genuine escapism. Adopting a range of vocal personas and perspectives, she weaves concept and execution with surreal and evocative effect, shaping chiffon-fine and vividly surreal scenes with each song, from the sanguine detachment of 'Worlds' to the chase sequence of 'Horn's Surrounding Me' and bayside ambience of 'Hello Stranger', or the poignant, poised pop of 'This Is A True Heart'. We can think of few other artists who could handle this intricate web of reference so capably, she's genuinely without comparison and blessed with a life-affirming ability to enchant music lovers of all stripes.