Listening to Julia Holter’s 2012 album Ekstasis is like watching the artist in motion. You can never experience it the same way twice. The meanings are as elusive as the California singer and songwriter herself, who apparently takes great pride in her literary leanings. The cerebral video for “Goddess Eyes II,” Holter’s second collaboration with director and friend Yelena Zhelezov, is no exception, and grants the viewer an all-access pass to Holster’s world as she sees it. The clip toys with the idea of what it’s like to cast an all-seeing eye across a landscape, where eyeballs plop into cocktail glasses and lovers unexpectedly turn on one another. It’s a world where love doesn’t exist, and even the most routine of endeavors feels preposterous.
The video was inspired by the Latin phrase, “deus ex machina,” a plot device for “seemingly unresolvable dramaturgical situations,” says Zhelezov in a press release. “It’s a tribute to Euripides and the literary spirit of the song that the video was conceived and directed." Given the aching lyrics “I can see you in my eyes to note you,” and Holter’s own wounded inflection, the looking glass vibe feels appropriate.
Originally issued on RVNG, Holter’s Ekstasis is being re-released by Domino on December 3, and an extended album, Ekstasis (Expanded), will be released by RVNG on December 11. The latter album will feature five songs in addition to the original ten, which were recorded with Elephant 6’s Heather McIntosh.