Today Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and composer Julia Holter announces her sixth studio album 'Something in the Room She Moves', out March 22nd on Domino. Holter’s past work has often explored memory and dreamlike future, but her latest album resides more in presence: “There’s a corporeal focus, inspired by the complexity and transformability of our bodies,” she says. Her production choices and arrangements form a continuum of fretless electric bass pitches in counterpoint with gliding vocal melodies, while glissing Yamaha CS-60 lines entwine warm winds and reeds. “I was trying to create a world that’s fluid-sounding, waterlike, evoking the body’s internal sound world,” Holter says of her flowing harmonic universe.
Holter shares her new single 'Spinning' alongside today’s announcement, accompanied by a music video. 'Spinning' is the album’s incantatory centerpiece; “What is delicious and what is omniscient?” she sings, “What is the circular magic I’m visiting?” Holter says, “It’s about being in the passionate state of making something: being in that moment, and what is that moment?”
Watch the 'Spinning' video below.
'Spinning' follows the previously released single 'Sun Girl,' hailed as “a blissed-out blur, a meandering, neo-psychedelic ramble” (New York Times), “a swirling piece of psychedelia that smears the boundary between illusion and reality” (Pitchfork), and a “melted kaleidoscope of a song” (The Guardian).
Recent years brought about for Julia Holter an existential focus on human connection, amid the staggering change that came with the death of loved ones (including her young nephew, to whom the album is dedicated) and the birth of her daughter. On 'Something in the Room She Moves,' Holter vividly processes the complexity, gravity, and awe of this confluence of experience. She calls the music “sensual,” “flowing,” and “nocturnal” - a testament to how love, with all of its challenges, “reroutes neural pathways.” The cover art by Holter’s childhood friend, artist Christina Quarles, highlights the multiplicity of intimate connection: are the figures embracing or in battle?
The title 'Something in the Room She Moves' came to Holter spontaneously as she was naming the Logic project file for an early demo of what would become the album’s title track on her computer for the first time. Coincidentally, a few months later, she found herself mesmerized by the eight-hour Beatles documentary 'Get Back' in 2021. Her titular phrase flips the gaze of the Beatles lyrics (“Something in the way she moves…”); the woman is no longer passively observed, but actively augmenting space. Holter has loved the Beatles since childhood, but sees the title less as a tribute than as a semi-surreal bit of automatic writing from her subconscious. (She had been singing Beatles tunes to her daughter at night.)
After a string of dream pop albums that established her searching voice in independent music—from 2012 breakthrough 'Ekstasis' to 'Loud City Song' and 'Have You in My Wilderness'—Holter released the sprawling and thrillingly experimental 'Aviary' in 2018. Since then, she has scored films like 'Never Rarely Sometimes Always,' performed a commissioned live score for 'The Passion of Joan of Arc' with the Chorus of Opera North, and collaborated with her partner, the musician Tashi Wada, who plays synth and bagpipes on her new album. 'Something in the Room She Moves' is a remarkable progression in Holter’s oeuvre, synthesizing her free, improvisatory energy with her signature eloquence.
Julia Holter LIVE (BNL):