Julia Holter - Loud City Song
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2013 Ratings: #11 / 1035
Year End Rank: #23
User Score
Based on 509 ratings
2013 Ratings: #13
Liked by 11 people
August 19, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Art Pop, Ambient Pop / Genres
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FACT Magazine

Don’t let the singular beauty of Loud City Song fool you. Holter may write stunning pop-tinged songs, but she’s an experimental artist through and through.

The Fly

With ‘Loud City Song’, Julia Holter marks the scene’s zenith, continuing her journey from obscurity, through marginality and onwards into accessibility. 


It’s certainly Holter’s most accomplished and imaginative album


Loud City Song is Holter's most polished work to date, and another example of how she upholds and redefines what it means to be an avant-garde singer/songwriter.

The 405

Whilst it remains unpredictable throughout, Loud City Song is never anything less than completely thrilling.


Excitingly, ‘Loud City Song’ has an immediate pop whirl that should make Holter’s genius apparent to all, without sacrificing the California Institute Of The Arts graduate’s knack for intricacy.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Like any modernist piece of work, Loud City Song consciously walks through paths that have been beaten before, but unravels threads out into new corners and ushers you in; records of this complexity and depth rarely feel so inviting.


It’s an impressive record to listen to—the compositions are even more beautiful than Ekstasis, even though they’re often more fragmented—but it’s also a frightening depiction of what it feels like to have a whole population making you up in its head.


The power of Loud City Song, then, lies not in the concepts upon which it deliberates, nor even the means through which it deliberates upon them, but rather how it translates these heady notions of the individual vs. the social, the Idea of the city, etc. into warm and loving compositions that first and foremost feel real. 


Loud City Song is one of those records so full of un-jaded wonder and attuned to the secret music of ordinary things that the world looks a little bit different while it's playing. 

The Line of Best Fit

It’s the explorations of sound and bold yet gentle orchestrations that makes Loud City Song a perfect example of Holter honing in on her talents by evoking mystery but retaining enough openness to keep her sound in constant flux.


This is a clever, sophisticated album that still oozes warmth and affection. Superficiality and loneliness have never sounded so tender and dazzling.

Consequence of Sound

Loud City Song is a sightseeing trip with a person fully able to portray the objective beauty of the sights, as well as her own take on them.


If Holter's stated themes sound like bullet points on a Media Studies 101 syllabus, fear not: There's nothing prosaic about this entrancing, chamber-pop masterpiece.

Under The Radar

This is music that takes a while to comprehend, designed for longevity over quick appeal. For those of you wistful for this approach, look no further.

Drowned in Sound

It’s a jaw-dropping accomplishment, one of those records that’s almost pointless to listen to as a series of individual songs – tracks are mini symphonies in themselves, and to break Loud City Song down into tracks would be missing the point.

I am finally ready to score this. This one took awhile to wrap my head around.
The follow-up to the wildly imaginative Ekstasis, singer-songwriter Julia Holter yet invites us to a musical universe of her own, almost of Lynchian nature. With the dissonance of horns and strings, it blends the best elements of art pop and chamber pop into one incandescent, dense work that moves seamlessly like a painting or a film. A record that evokes at different moments the solitude and melancholy of the metropolis lost in the haze of modernity, this is a winning moment in her growing ... read more
Fully artistic and enchanting, it reaches for the stars on her own way.
A big hug
Not sure if I could ever decide on a favorite Julia Holter album, but this one definitely holds a special place for being my proper introduction to her. I remember being totally blown away by "World" and its use of phrasing and empty space to convey the Gigi-adjacent atmosphere this record is going for. Seriously - this song makes me feel like I'm sitting on a fire escape in Los Angeles at night watching cars quietly below. For longtime fans of Holter, hearing her finally close up ... read more
Am I the only weirdo that greatly prefers this to Julia's other releases? I spent so much time trying to get Aviary and HYIMW to click for me like they do for others, that I was completely neglecting what would be the one all along. This mix of jazz elements, art pop, and ambient is just delightful. I don't know how it works at all, but here we are. Julia's voice is so calm and collected and perfectly complements the spacious instrumentation, weaving in and out flawlessly.
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Track List

  1. World 
  2. Maxim's I
  3. Horns Surrounding Me  
  4. In The Green Wild  
  5. Hello Stranger
  6. Maxim's II 
  7. He's Running Through My Eyes
  8. This Is a True Heart  
  9. City Appearing  
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Added on: May 22, 2013