Renaissance pop curio Julia Holter is known for communicating more with the plaintive pace and silence of a single song than certain louder artists might yield in a lifetime, and her breakthrough record Ekstasis
is an exquisite balance of such tense, threadbare moments. There's an emphasis on emphasis
there, and a sense of devotion one might even call liturgical—no wonder Holter's been referred to as this generation's "savior of reverent music." But for all this talk of vibe and structure, what sticks most in the end is Holter's talent for intent, elegant melodies, and clinically orchestrated pop songs. CHRIS CANTINO Also see My, What a Busy Week!