Julia Holter’s 2015 album, Have You in My Wilderness, signified a major shift in her professional story. For the first time, she demonstrated a willingness to embrace the frontwoman role in her music, giving more of Julia Holter, whether it was a constructed version or the reality. The ensuing tour was the first chance to tangibly embody the change, and this live album is the first document of it for posterity.

It comes out as the first official entry in Domino Records’ new imprint Domino Documents, which aims to present their artists in a live environment in an elite London studio, in this case, RAK Studios. The recording comes days after her performance at the 2016 Green Man Festival, and features the core members of her live band. Anyone hungry for more of the luscious, enigmatic beauty of that last record and its predecessor, Loud City Song will be well served by this invasive, nowhere-to-hide selection of performances.

Have You in My Wilderness dominates proceedings, with seven of its ten tracks included here. The emphasis appears to fall on some of the more understated and overlooked corners of the record, namely the elusive, un-catchable ‘Lucette Stranded on the Island’ and the amorphous, invertebrate ‘Vasquez’. Both tracks are given extra leg room, allowing Devin Hoff’s stand-up bass and Holter’s own keys to dictate the pace, the musicians’ simpatico understanding allowing them to explore new corridors in the songs’ attics as they arise. The band all have significant backgrounds in jazz, and this looseness to deviate from the songs’ original structures gives this release a valuable raison d’etre.

Only once does it dip into the recesses of Holter’s distant back catalogue, but the new version of Tragedy’s ‘So Lillies’ indulges the time when her writing took less interest in form and convention anyway. Loud City Song, in hindsight the transition from that period to the current, boasts some of this release’s most spellbinding moments, and kicks off the record with the standout ‘Horns Surrounding Me’. The rigid spine of the track has been surgically removed, replaced by a liquid, formless rhythm – to a newcomer, this could be mistaken for confusion, but no Holter fan could ever be fooled thus.

If anything, it might have been intriguing for more of Holter’s early material to have been exposed in this new environment in which she presents herself – the transition she has made could have been more explicitly explored, but few could complain about the chance to revel in what we are given. The ‘set’ is paced expertly too, with perhaps Wilderness’s two most accessible songs saved for the climax. First, ‘Betsy on the Roof’, the last chance for Corey Fogel’s cymbals to shimmer and Dina Maccabee’s viola to strike the balance between warm embrace and unobtainable mystery. Together, the four of them work as one forward thrust, Holter’s vocals leading the line but not stealing the attention.

Rounding the album off is ‘Sea Calls Me Home’, one of the great subversive singles of the decade. Whilst the original album version is punctuated by one of the most unforgettably skronky and abrupt saxophone solos in modern memory, the band here does not extend to a brass section, and we make do with a keyboard replacement, but the abandon of the track is intact. It is, in truth, a rare moment of sunshine breaking into RAK Studios, with Holter singing with direction and intent, instead of as an auxiliary improvised instrument. But those seeking out a Julia Holter live album aren’t looking for pop thrills, but rather mature, sophisticated compositions performed by accomplished, unbound musicians. It is here in spades.