Julia Holter’s Dizzying New Track ‘Words I Heard’ Is A Spellbinding Incantation

Julia Holter’s music transcends sound – though on its own, hers is unbelievably stunning – and permeates all the senses. On her new song, “Words I Heard,” we’re taken on a journey as lush and dizzying as the video that accompanies the piece. Holter’s music bends genre, packing together intricate string instrumentals and restless, soaring vocals to create a work that could be compared to a sort of incantation. “Words I Heard” will appear on her forthcoming fifth record Aviary, out 10/26 via Domino Records.

“Save our souls and our laughter / I love you in the City of Man,” Holter croons as the video spins through a forest, creating a grainy montage of foliage (the visualizer was directed by frequent collaborator Dicky Bahto on Mount Tamalpais, a location that inspired the album’s name). The footage vacillates between clips that showcase heavily saturated greens and others that are bleakly black-and-white. In it, we’re watching the leaves falling, and nearly hearing the seasons changing.

When the song hits its sonic peak, the violins screech and then flutter downward as a waterfall appears in frame. The experience of hearing this track for the first time feels sacred – as Holter herself puts it:

“I think this album is reflecting that feeling of cacophony and how one responds to it as a person — how one behaves, how one looks for love, for solace. Maybe it’s a matter of listening to and gathering the seeming madness, of forming something out of it and envisioning a future.”

Watch the video for “Words I Heard” above, and pre-order Aviary here.