"Marienbad," from Julia Holter's upcoming album Ekstasis, picks up where "Goddess Eyes," from 2011's Tragedy, left off. On Tragedy, "Goddess Eyes" is an accessible oasis on an otherwise pretty abstract record. "Marienbad" employs a similar accessibility—Holter's voice is the anchor to the track, overlaid on itself innumerable times. Of course "accessible" should be taken with a grain of salt. The song evolves as it goes, adding counter-melodies, percussion, and more as it travels over its 5:40 running time. For all its added density it never scales to epic heights; it's more amorphous than that. The song is a shape-shifter, full of lovely melodies that seem just slightly obscured in a mist, just hard enough to decipher that you can't quite sing along. By the end of the track you feel as if it's pulled you somewhere new, without ever having touched you.
Incidentally, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the video for "Marienbad" was created by artist Rick Bahto, someone I knew back in my Arizona days (read: over a decade ago) and who has come a long way since then. (I don't think he was even of drinking age back then... he used to come into the artspace/punk club I ran.) The footage in the video is multiple projections running over each other, with no edits or manipulations.