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"Recent years brought about for Julia Holter an existential focus on human connection, amid the staggering change that came with the death of loved ones (including her young nephew, to whom the album is dedicated) and the birth of her daughter. On Something in the Room She Moves, Holter vividly processes the complexity, gravity, and awe of this confluence of experience. She calls the music “sensual,” “flowing,” and “nocturnal”--a testament to how love, with all of its challenges, “reroutes neural pathways.” The cover art by Holter’s childhood friend, artist Christina Quarles, highlights the multiplicity of intimate connection: are the figures embracing or in battle?
The title Something in the Room She Moves came to Holter spontaneously as she was naming the Logic project file for an early demo. Coincidentally, a few months later, she found herself mesmerized by the eight-hour cinéma-vérité Beatles documentary Get Back in 2021. Her titular phrase flips the gaze of the Beatles lyrics (“Something in the way she moves…”); the woman is no longer passively observed, but actively augmenting space. Holter has loved the Beatles since childhood, but sees the title less as a tribute than as a semi-surreal bit of automatic writing from her subconscious.
After a string of dream pop albums that established her searching voice in independent music—from 2012 breakthrough Ekstasis to Loud City Song and Have You in My Wilderness—Holter released the thrillingly experimental Aviary in 2018. Since then, she has scored films like Never Rarely Sometimes Always, performed a commissioned live score for The Passion of Joan of Arc with the Chorus of Opera North, and collaborated with her partner, Tashi Wada, who plays on her new album. Something in the Room She Moves is a remarkable progression in Holter’s oeuvre, synthesizing her free, improvisatory energy with her signature eloquence."