Bluesfest is delighted to welcome Australian band Holy Holy to Bluesfest, hot on the heels of the release ‘Paint’ which has been referred to as - “One of the standout albums to be released this year…almost perfect” by The Daily Telegraph.
‘Paint’ is a powerful word," Holy Holy vocalist Tim Carroll explains. "It's both a noun and a verb, it's very visual and colourful and creative and expressive. It felt like the right title for where we wanted to take the record."
The band started as a creative outlet for long-time friends Tim and guitarist/producer Oscar Dawson. The first album was written when Tim was living in Stockholm and Oscar in Berlin; Tim would commute to Oscar's creative enclave. "We didn't know we were forming a band," Tim says. "But that suite of songs led to us forming Holy Holy. We found that when we collaborated we made something different to what we did separately, and we liked it."
The heavy touring for their 2015 debut album ‘When the Storms Would Come’ included shows with Vance Joy, The Preatures and Boy and Bear. They played big rooms, small rooms, festivals, and toured three times through Europe, including headline shows and festivals such as Primavera in Barcelona, The Great Escape in the UK, Reeperbahn in Hamburg and London Calling in Amsterdam.
‘Paint’ sounds like a band who've leapfrogged the difficult second album syndrome and delivered the experimental fifth album already - all without losing any of their personality.
Boundaries have been stretched. Risks have been taken. ‘Paint’ is a panoramic record with songs bursting with ideas, some with so many that they're divided into the more classically derived notion of 'movements'.
Album highlights include “That Message” which mixes unexpectedly funky bass and beats over stark, spoken word lyrics. “True Lovers” is a straight-up banger that showcases Matt’s arsenal of vintage synths - a major component of ‘Paint's diverse DNA. “Willow Tree” is a wandering epic that warps before your ears. “Gilded Age” is a shapeshifter, repeatedly refusing to conform to what you think it will be.
"Something happens when you play with the same people for a long time,” Oscar says. “It's like a conversation. You understand what people tend to say or think and where conversations tend to go. It can be quite fluid. So when we get together to write or rehearse it's really natural now." "Finding people you enjoy making music with is as hard as finding someone you want to marry," Tim adds.
Tim's playing less guitar on ‘Paint, concentrating on those incredible harmonies and some vocal force. "It frees up space and gives Tim more room vocally," Oscar says.
"I've done a lot of controlled singing, but that can get a bit boring at a certain point," Tim says. "On this record I wanted to push a bit more. I like it when it doesn't sound perfect; when it breaks or distorts a bit."
Most of all, ‘Paint’ smashes any preconception listeners may have had about Holy Holy and forces an instant reassessment. It's not one of those second albums that lazily recycles the debut. Bluesfest is excited to welcome these Aussie envelope pushers in 2018.
“One of Australia’s most exciting and talked about young rock acts” – The Australian
“Holy Holy are without doubt one of the most interesting bands coming out of Australia at the moment”
– Backseat Mafia