Mon 3rd June
Julia Shammas Holter is a classically-trained keytarist from Echo Park. Her music is witty, surreal and optimistic. She plays without sarcasm in the terrains that divide sentimentality, passion, and control. Her songs are written instinctively, and treated with an off-kilter fastidiousness, working orchestral variety from minimal instrumentation. Her singing voice is crystalline- either like sugar or jewellery.
Julia has an unusual fascination with thought and art of the middle ages. Arcane poetry and mystical saints adorn her music, as well as her faux-naif take on medieval figurative art. Her song-writing stems from a mythological reverence of that which is incomprehensibly beautiful. Julia’s “Eating the Stars” EP (2007) was a first attempt at musically transcribing this beauty, while discovering the honest enjoyment of unadulterated creativity. The anonymous authorship and shimmering gold detail of medieval illuminated manuscripts particularly inspired the ornately-orchestrated pop song mystery of “Stars”.
Holter's debut album “Tragedy” (Leaving Records, 2011) embraced similar strains of shimmer, but used sparser textures in a narrative context. Her second album “Ekstasis” is due for release in March. It’s a collection of songs written over three years in Los Angeles, documenting an artist’s search for the incomprehensibly beautiful in untraditional pop form.