From the already surreal halls of LA’s Lodge Room comes the newest installation of Audiotree’s STAGED, a series of live streaming events with the excellent video and audio quality expected of these pros. JULIA HOLTER graced our screens February 25th, conjuring a magical energy that filled my mind with tranquility, and teleported me into her dreamy, empty room.
Holter’s celestial, striking, and pitch-perfect vocals are so silky sometimes I’d think the sound was coming from her Nord Stage 2. A simple yet effective setup (including the quick details of matching her shirt and lipstick to her cute red synth), Holter kept it intimate by sticking to just her vocals and the synth, with an added tenderness of donning a music stand. Much like the purity of a nervous child at a piano recital, she’d flip through the songs and float the pages to the floor with a smile. Her delicacy with the envelopes and oscillators looked as effortless and satisfying as picking a flower.
As expected of Holter’s angelic voice and classical background, she curated a perfectly timeless set, combining her music with several Joni Mitchell covers. One can see the influence Joni has had on Holter as an artist, she grew up listening to Joni’s works. Their lyrics are poetry, underscored with a free-flowing composition that could only be achieved by an unfiltered joie de vivre. The fluidity and innocence of their music makes my heart fly.
Even more time-altering, she flawlessly performed a piece by Paolo Conte (“Chiamami Adesso”) that totally transformed Conte’s raspy melodies into what could have been a sweet opera piece.
Holter has an ability to completely sweep us into timeless realms outside of reality, but yet based in reality. Her performance of my personal favorite “Sea Calls Me Home,” made me feel like I was looking at an old black and white photograph of a lighthouse.
Intuitive and fully fluid, combining perfectly composed tunes with synthy feel-outs, Julia Holter delivered a performance worth watching thrice. It was a set clearly filled with a love for the music, including an admiration for Karon Dalton by cover of “Something On Your Mind,” a hauntingly honest masterpiece. It struck a chord with me, and she noted on how tough it is to stay genuinely connected during COVID times: “There’s love there that you’re trying to communicate, it’s real love, and it’s hard, over the internet.”
The poetic and romantic ambiance she procures is one you simply cannot look away from. Her sheer joy and elation while playing each song gave me goosebumps; it is clear she was born to do this. Yes I did sit at the edge of my couch the whole set with my eyes and ears glued, and yes, it did restore my faith in humanity a little bit.
Written By: Marina Aguerre of THE WITCHING HOURS