Julia Holter has released an interesting new video for her song “Whether.” While it is more than simply the song’s audio, it is very different from what many people consider the typical music video. The video, uploaded to Youtube on Monday, features the song “Whether” from her recent album, Aviary. The video contains a series of strange visuals, often resembling a photo reel and depicting distorted images of people. Julia Holter has made a name for herself in the indie and experimental music scenes with her work over the past decade. Holter is also known for her skill in composing musical arrangements and her work in various other forms of media. Her first major release was the album Tragedy in 2011; since then she has released an additional 5 albums, with her most recent being Aviary.
The album, which was released at the end of October, features nearly an hour and a half of the singer’s powerful vocals reinforced by a strong range experimental instrumentals. Most of the album’s 15 songs are over 6 minutes long and fill much that time with beautifully crafted instrumentals. The project features a variety of musicians and instruments, mainly arranged by Holter herself. The song “Everyday is an Emergency” is one of the more dynamic cuts from the album; featuring nearly 4 minutes of disorienting bagpipe music before the real song begins. As it goes on, the track becomes increasingly ominous and features some of Holter’s most haunting vocals on the album.
The song “Whether” is by far the shortest on the project, coming in at just under 3 minutes in length, and features some of the more unique production on the album. It incorporates mystifying background noises with the sounds of the bagpipe and a strong synth keyboard. The keyboard serves as the backbone of the song’s production, but fades away near the end of the track to make room for a drum solo to finish off the song. Holter’s lyrics throughout the song strongly show the absurdist theme she sticks to throughout the album. A large influence on the creation of this, according to Holter, was the use of memory as a central factor in the songs. This can be seen in “Whether” as she describes a series of short visuals that altogether have little in common.
The eclectic nature of the song is present in the video as well, with the visuals mainly seeming to be a series of snippets from film or photo reels. The images seem to once again showcase the theme of memories, as in many cases it does seem as if Holter is attempting to capture what one might see when trying to remember an event from a long time ago. In a recent interview, the video’s director, Dicky Bahto, recalled Julia wishing for the video to rely on the smoke from the recent California wildfires to distort the images that were to be used. Overall, the video gives a strong look into the meaning of the album and the artistic vision of Julia Holter in her most recent musical release.