Boomkat Product Review:
Julia Holter’s divine debut album proper appears here in an expanded 2LP revision of the OG Leaving Records edition includes an extra ‘Introduction’ and ‘Interlude’ parts and more headroom for its enchanted sonics. One of the strangest, most mermorable and quietly influential albums of the twenty tens.
In 2011 the album appeared like a dream that was difficult to shake. Traversing a haunting mixture of avant-garde scenery into sublime passages of plaintive songcraft and steepled organ refrains in only the first track, it knocked us for six and still does, becoming one of those records we don’t listen to everyday, but one which resurfaces like a rare, perennial bloom. Now at the opposite end of the decade in which it was released, we can safely say it’s among the strongest records of this strange decade.
Reentering its oneiric corridors feels like a flashback, especially in the exquisitely Lynchian dimensions of ‘The Falling Age’ where she channels Julee Cruise at her most ghostly, while the Laurie Anderson-esque pop of ‘Goddess Eyes’ still casts its spell with surreal effect, and the dream-pop fireworks of ‘Celebration’ has lost none of its capacity to freeze the spine with an ecstasy comparable to Alice Coltrane, and which, with hindsight, now recalls Teresa Winter’s intimate psychedelia.
The additional pieces are subtle cherries on top, with the scene setting fog horns and vintage Hollywood-like SFX of the introduction, and her etheric interlude of drifting baroque organ beautifully helping to expand the LP’s theatrical framework, based on the Ancient Greek play ‘Hippolytus’ (aka the ‘Tragedy’ of the title).
A classic of our age.