Holy Holy’s debut album When the Storms Would Come (Wonderlick/Sony Music) has an air of ease and maturity that usually befits a band much further along in their career. It is hard to believe that the collection of tracks is the Australian duo’s first foray as an ensemble, and easy to imagine a long established history. The epic sound is a throwback to when rock took it’s time to really craft an experience for listeners. When we recently spoke to lead vocalist Timothy Carroll he told us:
“I do feel in the lucky position of having complete creative control over what we do from a technical standpoint and with our record deal. We can always do what we want.”
This spans epic solo’s from guitarist Oscar Dawson on track You Cannot Fall for Love Like a Dog to the restrained and emotional richness of recently released single Sentimental and Monday. But WTSWC is so much more than an album about the singles.The lyricism explores the depths of great lakes and long winters and time takes on a cyclical quality. Carroll has a way with words that finds patterns in history and nature and paints brilliant mosaics that are both simple and profound.
At the other end of the spectrum A Heroine doesn’t shy away from grandeur. It takes on the rise and fall of empires in a stormy composition and screams back at the thunder with wailing hooks. History follows the same road, but each track contributes something a little different to the journey.The album is a holistic experience that can be broken down into its components, but is best enjoyed as the sum of all its parts; a sonic experience that reaches for excellence and comes up with fistfuls. As Carroll says,
“Whenever I’m making music I want to make a record that people like, but also that people want to listen to a lot of times – really get to know the whole album, rather than just be a record that has one or two songs that people like. So that’s really what we’ve strived to do with this record.”
The goal has been achieved as every song demands attention and melds and changes with each listen. The subtleties of a track like If I Were You emerge over subsequent plays so that it becomes a stand out favourite, with the titular vocals giving the record it’s title: “If I were you, I’d be open and I’d be strong. I’d know where the birds nest and when the storms would come.” The six minute dreamscape Pretty Strays For Hopeless Lovers is achingly lovely and infectious without stripping away any of the instrumentation to create a more bite sized ballad. Holy Holy make no sacrifices and no apologies and it’s as refreshing as it is surprising, with unexpected turns throughout the album.
It is rare for a new band to land so fully on their feet that the earth beneath them shakes from the force. If this is the beginning for Holy Holy then it’s downright scary to think about what’s to come. With fellow Australian rockers Tame Impala releasing their third album Currents just a week earlier, 2015 is shaping up to be a killer year for home grown music.
The duo have reunited with their live band to play at Splendour in The Grass this weekend and are about to embark on a nation wide tour. With promises to play all the songs on the album and plenty of Dawson’s crazy guitar work, make sure you grab your ticket to be front and centre for what is sure to be a stellar show befitting this accomplished release.