There’s a moment on Julia Holter’s latest LP where everything turns to jazz. Horns blurt inconsolably. Strings swirl. There’s a slide whistle. That song, “Maxim’s II,” is the brassiest, most disconcerting part of the deceptively titled Loud City Song, and she follows it up with a gentle piano ballad. It’s an unusual turn for the album, which mostly draws from the dynamic interplay between hushed new-wavey synthscapes and Holter’s understated vocals. But that unpredictability is what separates the 28-year-old singer from the rest of the art-rock pack. While her previous album, 2012’s Ekstasis, owes a debt to Kate Bush, Julee Cruise, and a fair chunk of the early ’80s 4AD roster, Loud City Song contains all the mystery of those artists, but also Holter’s own outbursts of inspiration. It’s a curious turn that could make for a dramatic concert tonight. With Nedelle Torrisi.
Tue., Sept. 24, 9 p.m., 2013