April 7th, 2011 | Album reviews

anna badua

NNA015: Julia Holter “Live Recordings” [sample] by nnatapes

Warning: This is not Julia Holter, but it is. This Julia Holter floats up to outer space, her keyboard spinning slowly (“Days of You”), and you may not recognize her. Live Recordings is the “lofi” Julia Holter who captures the moment on a room mic. Despite its more minimal approach, Live Recordings has many dimensions, like a room with thin walls—and the neighbors make noise (“Did You Attend”). Some things happen outside the window as well as inside, some are mundane, and some are strange (“Pushkin, Inconsolably”). Imagine Julia writing masterpieces in her apartment, when suddenly a lawnmower passes by her window—and it passes by her neighbor’s window, and the next person’s, and the next person’s, everyone writing masterpieces but not necessarily recording them. This lawnmower is the thread that binds them. It’s their very existence, and Holter’s recorder is on. Holter is occasionally invaded by foreign women (“With Loue to Toune”), and sometimes her keyboard turns into a merrygoround (“So Lillies”). We don’t know for sure what’s deliberate and what’s a mistake. At the end of “Me Are More Than I Need,” she’s saying something like, “I wanna paint myself greeeen—” and then the recording cuts off accidentally, but now it’s on purpose. People walking by the windows don’t notice the bells chiming. Is it a dream? Once I even felt cool water splashing softly against the speaker (“Je Vivroie Liement”). There is another, 150-track per song Julia Holter, but you’ll meet her some other time.

—Daiana Feuer