What is the sound of empathy? That’s the theme of Julia Holter‘s exceptional new album Aviary which she has just announced she will be performing alongside other selections from her consistently acclaimed catalogue at the Rosemount Hotel on Wednesday, January 16.
Released this Friday, October 26, Aviary is an epic journey through what Julia Holter describes as “the cacophony of the mind in a melting world.” It’s the Los Angeles composer’s most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements. The follow-up to her wondrous 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a 2009 short story by writer Etel Adnan: “I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds.” It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also a pretty good metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void.
“Amidst all the internal and external babble we experience daily, it’s hard to find one’s foundation,” says Holter. “I think this album is reflecting that feeling of cacophony and how one responds to it as a person—how one behaves, how one looks for love, for solace. Maybe it’s a matter of listening to and gathering the seeming madness, of forming something out of it and envisioning a future.
“For a long time in music, there has been a discussion about what ‘dissonance’ and ‘consonance’ actually are.” But what, Holter asks, is the sound of empathy?
Aviary is out this Friday, October 26. Julia Holter plays the Rosemount Hotel on Wednesday, January 16. Tickets on sale this Friday from Oztix.