Monday, March 26, 2018

How Was I Supposed To Know: A Brief Review Of The New Holy Wave Album

There are only 8 songs on the new album from Holy Wave, Adult Fear, out on Friday via The Reverberation Appreciation Society, but they are each special. The Austin, Texas-based band make music that's reminiscent of acts as disparate as The Clientele and Temples. And to say that is to acknowledge how lovely the music is here.

Opener "Nation in Regress" is a bit space-y with the band seeming to be channeling something from the late Sixties, while the more elegant "How Was I Supposed To Know" veers into chamber pop territory, bits of The Left Banke brushing up against pieces of the Broadcast back-catalog. The epic "Habibi" showcases the instrumental prowess of the players here, the vocal portions of this one almost secondary to the overall effect, while "Dixie Cups" suggests nothing so much as the first few waves of bands from the 4AD label some decades ago. Elsewhere, "David's Flower" hits a kind of lovely peak on this album, while the longer title track purrs and percolates with a faint sense of abandon.

So much of Adult Fear is ornate and downright baroque in its presentation, and that's sort of why I liked this album so much. What Holy Wave are doing here, while not entirely original, is the sort of thing that's hard not to love. Fans of The Zombies will love this, and so will fans of mid-period Helium, you know what I mean? This is wonderful music, really.

Adult Fear by Holy Wave is out on Friday via The Reverberation Appreciation Society.

[Photo: James Oswald]