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Dicky Bahto / Domino

Julia Holter’s 12-year career has been an ambitious attempt to meld conservatory-bred compositional techniques with pop music’s concessions to hummable melodies, while sneaking allusive, literary lyrics into the mix. The plan’s working well so far, helped in part by Holter’s poised, expressive singing that nonetheless retains an enigmatic patina. You sense there may be a few Kate Bush records in Holter’s collection, but she tempers the vocal theatrics, maintaining a passionate yet moderate art-history-professor delivery, like Laurie Anderson with more range. Holter will be touring with a six-piece band to support her latest album, Aviary, a gorgeous, chamber-orchestral opus that she describes as an exploration of “the cacophony of the mind in a melting world.” Relatable!

She lands at Neumos tonight, with support from Tess Roby. Some media below.