Julia Holter – “Sea Calls Me Home” (audio) (Singles Going Steady)

“Sea Calls Me Home” is a pleasant introduction to Julia Holter’s upcoming album Have You in My Wilderness.

Matt James: In an age where pop appears to be, depressingly, enjoying rifling through the “Dumb & Dumber Idiot Box” we must cherish musicians like Julia Holter. She’s smart and strange. Listening to Ekstasis or Loud City Song makes you wanna go drown yourself in, well, “Art” even if you haven’t a clue what the hell it’s all about. The plink-plonk stomp of “Sea Calls Me Home” sounds like Holter trying to bottle the spirit of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” whilst tickling the hallucinatory haze of a week’s insomnia. At one point you can possibly hear pink, tutu-wearing, cartoon elephants polishing their saxophones in the apartment above. There’s also an ace nonchalant whistly bit for all fans of “Ace Nonchalant Whistly Bits”. At a trim three minutes it’s a little slim perhaps and not as swoonsome a serenade as recent canine cuddler “Feel You” but with Holter’s exemplary track record it still feels safe to follow her into the dreamy depths. [7/10]

Chris Gerard: A stately mid-tempo gem with lovely harpsichord and an absolutely gorgeous sax solo, something we don’t hear often enough in popular music these days. Holter’s voice is somewhat reminiscent of Regina Spektor, which is far from a bad thing. “Sea Calls Me Home” is a pleasant introduction to Holter’s upcoming album Have You in My Wilderness. [8/10]

Nathan Stevens: Anyone else want a full album of sea shanties from Holter? Just me? I think it has something to do with “Sea Calls Me Home” and the previously released “Feel You” both grappling with movement and change. “Sea Calls Me Home” isn’t as potent as “Feel You”, but it is more delightfully strange; what with the whistled bridge, sudden sax interlude, and Holter’s musings on “lucidity” and her own swimming ability. If these first two songs are any indication, not only will Have You in My Wilderness be another triumph for Holter, but she’ll have created her own odd and engrossing world. [7/10]