Julia Holter presents her masterpiece, Have You in My Wilderness

Have You in My WildernessForm is a wonderful thing to behold. At the peak of its powers, it renders talent both divine and audacious, producing the seemingly impossible from the apparently effortless. It's a cross-court drop shot that clings to the net. It's every speculative gesture amounting to ecstasy. About twenty minutes into Have You in My Wilderness, it's the sound of Julia Holter offering up whistling and sax solos back to back.

Holter already commands an impressive track record. Following two homespun albums, both built around Greek etymology and ghost choir vocal production, 2013 saw a step out of the bedroom with Loud City Song, her Domino debut. The full band approach served only to blacken and swell the darker corners of her sound; even lead single "In The Green Wild" was a strange affair, driven by nervous, wobbly jazz bass. Nonetheless, the album was a work of weird genius.

Listening to "Feel You", the first track from Have You in My Wilderness, is like throwing back the curtains to discover the first spring sunshine of the year. Light has flooded into Holter's work, and the addition of drums and violins here serve as sprightly punctuation marks, unrecognisable from the dread accomplices of Loud City Song's brooding epics. "Silhouette" is equally trim, and it feels for a moment as though she's gifted us a collection of perfectly formed pop songs.

However, much like Kate Bush's thirty-year-old classic Hounds of Love, the early run of pop songs belie the breathtaking journey that lies ahead. While there's no doubt that this will be recognised as her most accessible collection of songs ("Everytime Boots" is practically a country rock number), it's the dream-like sequences captured later in the album that create the most breathtaking moments. "Lucette Stranded on the Island" swans around a heavenly refrain of "the birds can sing their song," while "Betsy on the Roof" develops exquisitely, every chord and lyric perfectly placed, one foot after the other, unable to take a wrong step if it tried.

This is Julia Holter's fourth great record in a row, and undoubtedly now her masterpiece, though it's not hard to imagine that there's more left in her. That's what happens when you're on this kind of form.

Release: 25th September 2015, Domino Recording Co

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