Over her past four albums, Julia Holter has built a reputation for making music that sounds strange, sometimes beautiful and often unconventional. For fifth album ‘Aviary’, she curates a mix of disparate sounds and feelings; at times, the album is a cacophonous collision of sounds, such as in opener ‘Turn the Light On’ and, at others, a delicate blending of soft, slowly building instrumentals, like the 8-minute minimalist, ambient opus ‘Chaitius’.
Just as you feel you’ve got the album figured out, it throws a curveball. ‘Everyday Is An Emergency’ is almost eight minutes long, the first half a mash-up jarring and repetitive wind instruments colliding into each other before the track changes tact completely, becoming a moving piano ballad; ‘Another Dream’ is an otherworldly, synth heavy number that sounds like an eerie nightmare whereas ‘Les Jeux to You’ is a piano-driven, more pop oriented number. Unusual yet distinctive, ‘Aviary’ may alienate some but you can’t fault the depth of Julia’s grand vision for her work.