Review Summary: Mood drenched, atmospheric, dance-able 80's homage done right.
The music of "Holy Holy" can be described as dark-synth/indie/pop. It fills a niche that will appeal to a broad audience, as paradoxical as that may seem. Most of the songs follow a pretty straightforward verse-chorus structure and most of the choruses, as in the opener Maybe You Know
, are very entrancing and intoxicating. There is a distinct dark 80's synth vibe throughout "My Own Pool of Light", with some new-wave sprinkled on like fairy dust giving it all a very dance-able but moody atmosphere. Dance-able you say？ Well, I challenge you to listen to a song like Faces
without tapping your feet or bobbing your head. It's infectious music that makes for a very satisfying listen.
Somehow there's a nervous immediacy running underneath the surface of most of the songs. It's very tangible in Flight
, which appears for all eyes to be a laid-back song. Yet there is a tension here that gives me the feeling the song might either explode with a soaring burst of energy of epic proportions, or implode and unravel, collapsing in on itself. In actuality, the song keeps itself very constrained and focused, and doesn't go into either direction. This is brilliant, because it keeps you at the edge of your seat and keeps the atmosphere tense. The end of the song reveals us the reason for this immediacy: the busy high-tempo drum 'n base style rhythm section which finishes the song alone. It was quite well concealed by the layers of atmosphere and vocal catchiness. Listening to the song again makes this all click into place and makes me appreciate the clever songwriting all the more.
There were times listening to "My Own Pool of Light", where I found the energy dipping and my attention slipping. Yet every time I feel like I'm done with this sound, something new and exciting snaps me right back into it and I keep listening. Examples of this are Starting Line
, both starting slow and moody, before breaking open in the bridge and ending the song with high energy spikes.
You get absolutely rewarded for listening on, for the best is yet to come, and it comes in the second to last Frida
. A song that is so drenched in atmosphere and gloom that it transforms into full melancholy. This is a song riddled in nostalgia and calls to mind pictures of Twin Peaks, Depeche Mode and Bandersnatch. It's late 80's synth homage done right in every way.
"My Own Pool of Light" is an album that scratches an itch I didn't know I had, and it does so phenomenally. The replay value and longevity may be up for grabs here, but whether it's the more straightforward People
, or the mood drenched closer St Petersburg
, every song on this is worth your time. Having a late night drive in the dark？Put on "Holy Holy", and I guarantee you a memorable and atmospheric time.