Say Psych: Track Review: Holy Monitor – Blue Whale

Athenians Holy Monitor are back with a new single, ‘Blue Whale’ taken from their third LP Southern Lights which will be released later this month.

Holy Monitor were founded in Athens, Greece during the summer of 2015 by guitarist Stefanos Mitsis, singer/guitarist George Nikas, keyboardist Vangelis Mitsis, bassist Alex Bolpasis and drummer Dimitris Doumouliakas. Over the course of a short period of time, they release the EP’s Golden Light and Aeolus by Ongakubaka Records. In 2016 they start recording their first full-length self-titled album which is released in February 2017 by the Greek independent label Blackspin/Primitive Music. Their critically acclaimed debut is followed by intense live performing, sharing the stage with established psych-rock bands like The Black Angels, Wooden Shjips and Kikagaku Moyo.

Their sophomore album II introduced a heavier, droning spaced out sound from rhythmic krautrock to blissed-out space rock and on into modern-day psych permutations. Self-released EP’s “Ghost” and “This Desert Land” follow, signifying a new era for the band with a focus on jamming and experimenting, contributing a slight shift in their sound and leading to the band’s most focused record yet, Southern Lights.

Talking about the single, the band state that “We were in the studio jamming on new ideas for our new album when we came up with this 5/4 beat accompanied by a clean, reverb-soaked strumming guitar. It was the first time we tried something different than the traditional 4/4 so we kept the idea and started building a new track with a classic Rhodes sound, an aery playful vocal line and a distinctive guitar solo that would be memorable. “Blue Whale” was born with the addition of the story of a girl that was coming to life every time in different shape. A blue whale, a mountain, a ghost, the sand in an hourglass.”

The track is a blissed out piece of psychedelia that contains all the expected elements, but executes them with such precision and prowess that its easy to imagine you’ve slipped back to the 70s when this sound dominated. Greek psychedelia at its finest.

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