Julia Holter performs in The Current studio

Julia Holter performs "Sea Calls Me Home" live in the studios of 89.3 The Current. (MPR/Nate Ryan)
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Julia Holter performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
| 22:10
  • Julia Holter performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 22:10
  • Julia Holter - Sea Calls Me Home (live on 89.3 The Current) 03:06
  • Julia Holter - Betsy on the Roof (live on 89.3 The Current) 06:08
  • Julia Holter - Silhouette (live on 89.3 The Current) 04:16

Julia Holter's 2015 album, Have You In My Wilderness, ended the year included in a number of best-album lists, including those from Mojo, Pitchfork, The Guardian, Stereogum, Q and others.

Holter takes the accolades in stride, although she does appreciate one important effect of the positive press. "Things like that don't show in obvious ways," she says, "but we are selling out shows … that's the most clear change for me."

Now enjoying a North American tour in support of Have You In My Wilderness, Holter — along with bandmates Devon Hoff (bass, vocals), Dina Maccabee (viola, vocals) and Corey Fogel (drums, vocals, whistling) — stopped in to The Current's studio for a session hosted by Mark Wheat.

Holter led off her session with the song, "See Calls Me Home," has been receiving airplay on The Current. "It's about a change in life that leads to some freedom, but that freedom is also scary," Holter explains. "I think [the sea] is really scary, but also fascinating and exhilarating."

Although trained as a classical musician, Holter embraced the freedom of making music on her terms. "I didn't think I could do this," Holter says, reflecting on her undergraduate days studying music composition at the University of Michigan. "But I don't think I understood myself very well at 18. … It was a surprise to learn I like to sing and perform."

Violist Maccabee, also classically trained, can empathize with Holter. "I was never going to be able to play the same thing the same way every night," Maccabee says about the prospect of an orchestral career, "so this was a better way to go."

Holter doesn't worry about what category her music fits into; she says she just enjoys collaborating with creative musicians, and she doesn't pine for the concert hall. In the Twin Cities, Holter's résumé includes gigs at the Cedar Cultural Center and at Walker Art Center. On Tuesday, March 1, Holter and her band will play at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis. "I actually like playing in lots of different types of spaces," she says.

Listen to the complete session — including the story behind the song title, "Betsy on the Roof" — by clicking the audio player above.

Songs Performed


"Sea Calls Me Home"
"Betsy on the Roof"
"Silhouette"
All songs from Julia Holter's 2015 album, Have You In My Wilderness, available from Domino Recording Company.

Hosted by Mark Wheat
Produced by Lindsay Kimball
Engineered by Michael Demark
Images by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

10 Photos

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    Dina Maccabee plays viola in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 3
    Devon Hoff plays bass with Julia Holter in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 4
    Dina Maccabee sings and plays viola in Julia Holter's band. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 5
    Drummer Corey Fogel performs in The Current's studio with Julia Holter. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 6
    Dina Maccabee's viola effects (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 7
    Julia Holter performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 8
    Julia Holter performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 9
    Julia Holter performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 10
    Julia Holter performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Julia Holter 11
    Drummer Corey Fogel performing with Julia Holter in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

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