Julia Holter's second album, Ekstasis, is a collection of songs written and recorded across the span of three years in Los Angeles, California. Ekstasis marks a return to the playful searching of her 2007 Eating the Stars EP, but guided by newly-learned disciplines, slightly better technology, and nearly limitless home recording time. Holter's songwriting stems from a mythological reverence of that which is incomprehensibly beautiful. Stars was a first attempt at musically transcribing this beauty, while discovering the honest enjoyment of unadulterated creativity. Holter's critically acclaimed debut album Tragedy (Leaving Records, 2011) embraced Stars strains of shimmer, but used sparser textures in a narrative context. While Ekstasis reflects the conventions of her classical training, the album is also uncannily, if unknowingly, poppy. Holter's approach to crafting the songs of Ekstasis centered around what she describes as, "open ear decision: what seemed to sound best for that moment." This blindness to reverence unintentionally steers Ekstasis along the experimental pop spectrum most commonly associated to New York's Downtown music micro-universe of the 80s, specifically the works of Laurie Anderson and Arthur Russell.
Julia Holter, "Ekstasis"