Say Psych: Album Review: Holy Wave – Interloper

Holy Wave, originally from El Paso, Texas but now situated in Austin in order to pursue their own vision of Texas psych, they offer sweet melodies dyed in carefully constructed noise. The band have cemented themselves as a staple force in the international scene, with key performances at Levitation, Desert Daze, and nearly every psych gathering on the planet. They’ve toured the world, and shared the stage with heroes such as Slowdive, Spiritualized, Hope Sandoval and The Black Angels. Last week they released their latest LP Interloper via The Reverberation Appreciation Society.

Interloper sees the band adding new layers to their lush and mesmerising songwriting style. Written about the duality between life at home and life on the road, it sees the band expanding on their most esoteric and thought-provoking themes. Opening with ‘Schmetterling’, a fluttering of sounds highly suited to its name takes hold instantly and builds in intensity until dreamy vocals rise to the fore. ‘R&B’ is the sound fans worldwide have come to know and love, with its saccharine haze aurally lulling the listener into submission. Title track ‘Interloper’ serves as the centrepiece for this self-expanding record, asking, what happens when the world beneath your feet changes so much that you feel like a stranger in your own shoes. ‘Maybe Then I Can Cry’ ups the tempo and slips more into their psychedelic style, which has always served them well and this track is no exception, containing a more experimental feel than the preceding offerings. ‘Escapism’ is a step towards exactly that, a dream inspired meditative track that allows the mind to wander.

‘I’m Not Living in the Past Anymore’ furthers the theme; a mantra about breaking the cycle of the mundane, underpinned with a metronomic krautrock beat that enchants with high energy throughout. ‘No Love’ calms things down a bit, with inspired harpsichord harmonies and dual vocals creating a lullaby effect. ‘Hell Bastards’ is a high octane, rock and roll, guitar driven track that seems like a strategically placed piece of mania and alongside ‘Buddhist Pete’ they are the ones that make you want to move and would no doubt be the ones where the crowd go mad when played live. Concluding ‘Redhead’ brings everything that the LP has travelled through to make an eclectic mix of sounds and styles that Holy Wave have learned to perfect.

Holy Wave weave together a contemplative tapestry that can serve as a road map for the diffident, a soundtrack to self-realisation, or simply an invitation to escape. They have taken steps away from their more established sound, but have only enhanced their appeal in doing so.

Holy Wave will be doing a live session on 25 July, tune in here

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