Julia Holter

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Julia Holter
Julia Holter at Haldern Pop 2013
Julia Holter at Haldern Pop 2013
Background information
Birth nameJulia Shammas Holter
Born (1984-12-18) December 18, 1984 (age 36)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • organ
  • harpsichord
  • drums
Years active2006–present

Julia Shammas Holter (born December 18, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, composer and artist, based in Los Angeles. Following three independent album productions, Holter released Tragedy as her first official studio album in 2011. Ekstasis, followed in 2012. After signing with Domino Records in 2013, she released the albums Loud City Song (2013), Have You in My Wilderness (2015) and the live-in-the-studio album In the Same Room (2017). Most recently, her double album Aviary was released in 2018.

Holter has also collaborated with other musicians, including Nite Jewel, Laurel Halo, Ducktails, Linda Perhacs, Michael Pisaro, and Jean-Michel Jarre.


Holter was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At age six her family moved to Los Angeles, where she later attended the Alexander Hamilton High School. She studied music at The University of Michigan for four years, graduating with a degree in composition.[1] After seeing Michael Pisaro perform an avant-garde composition in Michigan, she was inspired to study with him at CalArts, where she graduated from another composition program.[1][2] Holter contributed songs to multiple compilation albums in 2008.[3] In 2010, she began playing with Linda Perhacs' band and released a CD-R titled Celebration and a collection of live recordings.[4]

Following three independently produced albums – Phaedra Runs to Russia (2007), Cookbook (2008) and Celebration (2010), Holter's official debut album, Tragedy, was released in August 2011 on Leaving Records. Inspired by Euripides' Greek play Hippolytus,[5][6] the album received generally favorable reviews and was named one of NPR's "Best Outer Sound Albums of 2011".[7]

Holter released her second album, Ekstasis , in March 2012 on the RVNG Intl. label. The album drew comparisons to works by such artists as Laurie Anderson, Julianna Barwick, Kate Bush, Joanna Newsom, Grouper, and Stereolab, and received many positive reviews.[8] Holter spent three years making the album, whose title comes from the Greek word meaning "outside of oneself."[9] The music video for album track "Moni Mon Amie", directed by Yelena Zhelezov, was also released in March.[10]

In addition to collaborating with other California-based musicians like Nite Jewel (Ramona Gonzalez), Holter released her third album, Loud City Song , in August 2013 on Domino Records.[4] Unlike her preceding albums, which were recorded mostly alone in her bedroom, Holter recorded Loud City Song with an ensemble of musicians.[11]

In 2015, Holter released the album Have You in My Wilderness, which became her most successful charting release to date. She also contributed to Ducktails' fifth studio album, St. Catherine, with her bandmates Chris Votek and Andrew Tholl.[12]

Holter collaborated with Jean-Michel Jarre on a song for the second part of the Electronica double album, released on July 18, 2016.[13]

In November 2016, she curated her own program during the tenth anniversary edition of Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht. This program included performances by Laurel Halo, Josephine Foster, Maya Dunietz, Jessica Moss and other artists.

In September 2017, she performed a world premier of her scoring of the 1928 silent French film The Passion of Joan of Arc on September 29 at the FIGat7th in downtown Los Angeles.[14]

In September 2018, Holter announced her sixth commercially released album, Aviary, and released the lead single "I Shall Love 2". She followed it with another single, "Words I Heard", before the album's release on October 26.[15][16]


The Guardian wrote that "Holter's vocal register [...] faintly recalls Siouxsie Sioux or Nico".[17] Under the Radar similarly compared her to other female artists saying; "Holter is Siouxsie Sioux meets Kate Bush, with a matchstick intensity, relighting her own wick by the conversation in her voice, her diaphragm shifting between instruments".[18]

Personal life[edit]

Holter was previously in a relationship with former Real Estate guitarist and Ducktails frontman Matt Mondanile.[19] In 2015, she contributed to his Ducktails album, St. Catherine. In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations made against Mondanile, Holter divulged that Mondanile was "emotionally abusive to the point where I had to have a lawyer intervene and was afraid for my life."[20]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions

Phaedra Runs to Russia
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: CD-R
Eating the Stars
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Human Ear Music
  • Format: CD-R
  • Released: 2008
  • Label: Sleepy Mammal Sound
  • Format: CD-R
  • Released: November 12, 2010
  • Label: Engraved Glass
  • Format: CD
  • Released: August 30, 2011
  • Label: Leaving
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download
  • Released: March 8, 2012
  • Label: RVNG
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download
Loud City Song
  • Released: August 19, 2013
  • Label: Domino
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download
19 60 140 91 20 88 103
Have You in My Wilderness
  • Released: September 25, 2015
  • Label: Domino
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download
3 56 107 36 29
  • Release date: October 26, 2018
  • Label: Domino
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download
16 81 99 73

Live albums[edit]

List of live albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions

Live Recordings
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: NNA Tapes
  • Format: MC
In the Same Room
  • Released: March 31, 2017
  • Label: Domino Documents
  • Format: LP, CD, digital download


  1. ^ a b Nite Jewel. "JULIA HOLTER". Issue Magazine. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  2. ^ Ratliff, Ben (2012-03-04). "Week Ahead - Pop". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  3. ^ LA Road Concerts (September 17, 2009). "LA Road Concerts website". Los Angeles Road Concerts. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Julia Holter - Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  5. ^ Wappler, Margaret (2012-01-06). "In rotation: Julia Holter's 'Tragedy'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  6. ^ Powell, Mike (2011-10-19). "Reviews: Julia Holter - 'Tragedy'". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  7. ^ Gotrich, Lars (2011-11-30). "The Best Outer Sound Albums of 2011". NPR. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  8. ^ Ekstasis reviews:
  9. ^ Pizzicarola, Elano (2012-03-06). "Julia Holter Talks Ekstasis and Recording Stuff Like Chatter and Fireworks". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  10. ^ Cooper, Duncan (2012-03-27). "Video: Julia Holter, 'Moni Mon Amie'". The Fader. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  11. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (2012-02-12). "Rising: Julia Holter". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  12. ^ Lindsay, Andrew. "Knowledge & Virtue: Ducktails + Real Estate's Matt Mondanile". thereprise.org. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  13. ^ Allen, Jeremy (2015-09-22). "A rendezvous with electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre". Fact Magazine. Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  14. ^ "Julia Holter". artsbrookfield.com. 29 September 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  15. ^ Rettig, James (September 6, 2018). "Julia Holter – "I Shall Love 2" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  16. ^ Slingerland, Calum (October 17, 2018). "Julia Holter Shares New Song "Words I Heard"". Exclaim!. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  17. ^ Empire, Kitty (15 November 2015). "Julia Holter – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  18. ^ Hardy, Lauren (31 March 2017). "Julia Holter In the Same Room". Under the Radar. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  19. ^ John, Lucas (August 26, 2015). "Ducktails draws you into a different sonic world". Straight. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  20. ^ Connick, Tom (2017-10-25). "Julia Holter details emotional abuse from ex-Real Estate guitarist Matt Mondanile". NME. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  21. ^ a b "Julia Holter - Loud City Song". ultratop.be. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  22. ^ "Ola discography". swedishcharts.com. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  23. ^ "Discographie Julia Holter". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Julia Holter | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 November 2018.

External links[edit]