Thursday, January 25, 2018

Dreaming Still: A Few Words About The New Album From Holy

The new album from Holy, All These Worlds Are Yours, drops on PNKSLM Recordings tomorrow. That it is a sonic marvel shouldn't be a surprise given the label that it's on. But that it is extraordinary and downright otherworldly in spots is sort of a revelation. What's here on this record is some of the most out there and wildly-tuneful indie-pop one is likely to encounter in 2018.

Opening track "Night on Earth" bursts forth from the speakers like Phil Spector mixing The Glitter Band, all booming drums and echoed vocals, while the more stately "Dreaming Still?" marches to the heavens on the backs of a bunch of chord-patterns that nod in the direction of acts like The Flaming Lips and Radiohead without all those pretentious bits. The tunes here are, understandably, big -- huge, really! -- and the measure of the success of this record is that, unlike offerings on those Foxygen's albums, for instance, the music here feels like something that is genuinely capable of transporting a listener elsewhere. I mean, the title cut is a near-epic, undulating over the course of nearly 9 minutes in rolls of Spiritualized hooks and bursts of Broadcast-style melodic invention. That sort of retro-futuristic indie-pop rears its head again on "Wish" which sees Hannes Ferm, the main member of Holy now, offer up coos and purrs like something from a Komeda record. Rather than seem like another in a long line of bands who are pursuing that sort of thing, the music here remains utterly unique and unlike anything else you are going to hear anywhere. In some spots here, Hannes also manages to work in some near-chamber pop-levels of a sort of a classicism that recalls the best tunes from The Left Banke or The Zombies, rendering "Heard Her" and "In Lack of Light" nearly charming and old-fashioned despite the trappings here that seem so downright trippy (for lack of a better adjective).

I really have a hard time being objective about releases on the PNKSLM label simply because they have yet to put out a dud. So, sometimes I have to step back from one of their releases and sort of force myself to assess it impartially. And, forgetting for a moment all the great releases from PNKSLM in the last few years, All These Worlds Are Yours still feels revolutionary in sonic terms. It is a record that sounds so original that my references to a few easy comparison points up above seem like lazy writing on my part. But the truth is that it is simply damn near impossible to describe what's here in words. Holy have made an extraordinary record that will blow your mind, really. Make plans to crank it up from your sound-system, or mark time to put on the headphones and drift away, but find your way to this record and buy it as soon as you can.

All These Worlds Are Yours by Holy is out tomorrow via PNKSLM. More details via the official Facebook page for Holy.

[Photo: Marcus Wilen]