Reviewed on Wednesday January 12
In the minutes before Julia Holter took the stage, the lights dimmed, the background music faded and all present knew too well that a regular Wednesday night at The Standard was soon to become an entrancing evening.
Opening for Holter was the humble and delightful Sydney folktronic singer-songwriter Caitlin Park. Standing alone with only a loop pedal, drum pad and an acoustic guitar for comfort, Park’s falsetto shimmered through the air. The set encompassed minimal organic arrangements sliding into tracks ‘Baby Teeth’ and ‘Tic Tac Language’ along with new song ‘Hunt For The Young’. Despite a small turnout to begin with, the timid ambiance of the room made for a more intimate atmosphere; the absorbing accuracy of Park’s rich voice reverberating throughout each punter.
Real Estate’s Matt Mondanile, also known by the moniker of Ducktails, continued to warm and invigorate the crowd, performing a flowing fusion of dreamy, spaced-out pop tunes with serious style and ease. Whilst his brilliance shines through his recorded material, the live performance Mondanile offers is relaxed yet amiable and, if you’re given the opportunity, should undeniably be experienced.
10:40pm rolled around and as the otherwise darkened auditorium began to swell, the crowd was drawn to the stage wherein Julia Holter walked unassumingly into the spotlight behind her keyboard, and was joined by her foursome of musical comrades. Opening with ‘In The Same Room’, together they launched into an hour of melancholy cinematic soundscapes, making abundant live use of instrumentation to communicate the heartfelt and contemplative music to those there to listen.
With each track thoughtfully constructed, their fluid meld of classical, jazz, rock and theatre influences were apparent most in ‘Horns Surrounding Me’, ‘In The Green Wild’ and ‘Hello Stranger’, accentuated by driven cello plucks, violin and saxophone.
Considering the low-key intimacy of the venue, amid charming banter, there lay a certain level of attentiveness and appreciation from an older crowd. While no encore performance, upon Holter’s humble stage departure her listeners were left warm and content before heading outside to a chilly night of rain.