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Julia Holter second album, Ekstasis, is a collection of songs written and recorded across the span of three years in Los Angeles, California.

Holter’s songwriting stems from a mythological reverence of that which is incomprehensibly beautiful. Her 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.

Ekstasis marks a return to the playful searching of Stars, but guided by newly-learned disciplines, slightly better technology, and nearly limitless home recording time. Formative experiences at Cal Arts studying with Michael Pisaro and in India singing with harmonium under guru Pashupati nath Mishra marked a slight detour for Holter in what started as a more traditional composition route. The trajectory leading to the creation of Ekstasis suggests her thirst for knowledge and experience.

While Ekstasis reflects the conventions of her classical training, the album is also uncannily, if unknowingly, poppy. Holter’s approach to crafting the songs of Ekstasiscentered around what she describes as, “open ear decisions: what seemed to sound best for that moment.” This blindness to reference unintentionally steers Ekstasis along the experimental pop spectrum most commonly associated to New York’s Downtown music micro-universe of the 80s, specifically the works of Laurie Anderson and Arthur Russell.

Julia Holter: Ekstasis

Marienbad Julia Holter 5' 25''
Our Sorrows Julia Holter 6' 16''
In the Same Room Julia Holter 3' 58''
Boy in the Moon Julia Holter 8' 20''
Für Felix Julia Holter 4' 11''
Goddess Eyes II Julia Holter 6' 23''
Moni Mon Amie Julia Holter 3' 31''
Four Gardens Julia Holter 6' 13''
Goddess Eyes I Julia Holter 3' 40''
This Is Ekstasis Julia Holter 8' 55''

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