Staff Pick: Julia Holter never envisioned herself as a performer

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From the September 19, 2013 edition

Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Julia Holter never envisioned herself as a performer. Prior to releasing her debut album Tragedy in 2011, the musician thought she’d work behind-the-scenes as a composer or arranger — a belief that shifted drastically once she recorded her first solo songs after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan (not to worry, Buckeye fans, the singer said she hates sports).

“[When] I started recording … it was almost like when you speak for the first time or something,” Holter said. “Being able to use my voice just made everything so immediate.”

This sense of immediacy spills over into her excellent new album Loud City Song, a sweeping, cinematic affair inspired in large part by the 1958 MGM musical “Gigi.”

“It’s a story about an individual who’s at odds with what society expects of her,” said Holter of the source material. “And that’s something I could identify with.”

Photo credit: Luke Gilford