Posted in music | pictures on March 7, 2012

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

Julia Holter

Julia Holter made her NYC debut last night (3/6) in front of a sold out crowd at Le Poisson Rouge, and to the internet, as the show streamed live. The show was also her first with band members Christopher Votek (cello) and Corey Fogel (percussion), who she had done the live arrangements with.

Though Julia's new album Ekstasis (due out 3/8 via RVNG Intl.) sounds remarkably organic for a "bedroom" album, when the band came in on set opener "Marienbad," the live arrangements proved to be even more natural sounding. All of the drum machines on her album were replaced by Corey Fogel, who was actually playing a fairly standard rock kit (though he only used it as such for about 30 seconds) and Julia's voice was completely free of the muffled vocal production on the album. The different arrangements were slightly startling at first, but as the set went on and the band settled in, they ended up accenting her songs really well. Julia seemed both nervous and excited in between songs, thanking us for coming after only a few songs, but while she and her band were playing, she couldn't have been more confident. Her voice was much larger live than on album and she delivered those off-kilter vocal runs ("we go, we go, we go, we go, we go, we go, we go outside") effortlessly.

The set consisted of every Ekstasis track except "Boy in the Moon" and also included "So Lillies" and "Try To Make Yourself A Work Of Art" off last year's Tragedy. The set had essentially no low points but the highlight of the night came in the string of the four final songs. The first of those was album closer, "This Is Ekstasis," which is probably her craziest song (I wish she'd get a sax player for those sax freakouts live), but even on its most quiet and even silent moments, not a sound was heard from the crowd. She followed the song with "In the Same Room," the closest that Julia Holter comes to a pop song. After getting the most amount of head bopping from the crowd that Julia was going to get all night, it seemed like she was about to give her thanks and exit the stage, but instead she moved from her keyboard to the grand piano that opener Sarah Cahill had used earlier in the night to play an entirely acoustic version of "Moni Mon Amie" with cellist Christopher Votek. Julia and her band then ended the set with a vocoder-less version of "Goddess Eyes," the track that appears on both Tragedy and Ekstasis (actually it appears on Ekstasis twice). I've always thought it was the vocoder that made that song stand out most to me on both albums, but hearing it live with no vocals other than Julia's own unaffected voice, it ended up being the most memorable moment of her live show as well.

You can still listen to the whole show at NPR and catch Julia Holter in NYC again TONIGHT (3/7) at Other Music, where she'll be performing a free solo show at the Manhattan record store. They'll also have copies of Ekstasis for sale. She'll also return to NYC in April for Unsound Fest.

More pictures, a video and the setlist from last night's show below...

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Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Sarah Cahil

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter


Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

Julia Holter

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Julia Holter Setlist:
Marienbad
So Lillies
Fur Felix
Try To Make Yourself A Work Of Art
Our Sorrows
Four Gardens
This Is Ekstasis
In The Same Room
Moni Mon Amie
Goddess Eyes

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Comments (24)

SUCKED.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:13 PM

such a good show

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:15 PM

Absolute crap.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:15 PM

what a hillbilly sausage fest this was!

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:18 PM

Did anyone at this show know Julia's music? All I saw were people staring at their iphones during her performance. Epic failure to hype up crappy hipster crap.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:18 PM

Not a single connection with the audience. Bored everyone to shit.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:22 PM

Crap of the year!

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:25 PM

zaba!

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:28 PM

The only people that went to this show are people who got free ticket giveaways. No one paid to see this.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:29 PM

She looks pretty cute...

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:29 PM

epic iphone convention.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:36 PM

Yoko Ono without the talent.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:41 PM


Rough comments, wasn't this show sold-out?

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 3:51 PM

Place was full mostly with paid tix holders. Opening set was fascinating!
Headliner's set was mixed, had great moments and some boring ones too.
Crowd's reaction was pretty warm for most of the time. Interesting show at the best programing venue in nyc.

Posted by ME | March 7, 2012 4:02 PM

ha haritz shel ha tachat shel ha tzalemet haya magil

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 4:05 PM

Very boring. Was a fan of Tragedy, new one has some interesting moments but the live setup is an absolute snore. Seriously she sounds like Enya. Incredibly contrived NYC coronation (NPR stream, Wordless Music endorsement, Pitchfork BNM + fawning coverage, "private" Chinatown loft show for the tastemakers, etc. etc. ad nauseum). This is the indie rock version of corny.

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 4:12 PM

geesh, it's not supposed to be head-banging music, but it certainly ain't ambient, new age nonsense either. lighten up-

Posted by anonymous | March 7, 2012 4:38 PM

thought tha show was greatttttttt

Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2012 4:42 PM

Sounds like some attractive girl made a piss poor album, a bunch of rich dudes who want to sleep with her put out her record, and sunk tons of money into PR without anyone actually *listening* to the music.

I'm sick of paid media telling me about all these horrible-but-hot female artists. this place included. It's obvious pay_ol_a

Posted by Anonymous | March 8, 2012 8:21 AM

@8:21 this album is the EXACT OPPOSITE of a piss poor album. give it a shot instead of posting yr whiny conspiricy theories. and i was at lpr and was fucking blown away. but whatever npr this over hyped that.

Posted by Anonymous | March 8, 2012 10:02 AM

shit was not good at all. i was hoping to be impressed being all the press hype and her credentials from her academic musical background...very disappointed, didnt feel like she had anything interesting in her music and stage presence live.....oh well.

Posted by Anonymous | March 8, 2012 10:51 AM

She looks pretty cute...

Posted by Game | March 19, 2012 3:17 AM

she's quite pretty and talent.

Posted by jordon | August 4, 2013 8:28 PM

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