See: The Holy Family explore the ergot journey of ‘St Anthony’s Fire’ in a pastoral drone-folk incantation

David J. Smith, of The Holy Family

THE HOLY FAMILY – the smoke-draped, deeply psychedelic collaborative outfit on Rocket Recordings, helmed by David J. Smith of Guapo and Miasma & the Carousel of Headless Horses, abetted in the journey furthur by fine crew members such as Cardiacs, Gong, Knifeworld and The Utopia Strong man Kavus Torabi; Emmett Elvin and Sam Warren, also of Guapo, and Current 93 and Coil’s Michael J. York – have released the video for the second single to emerge from their debut album, “St Anthony’s Fire”; bring your sigils and covenant with them below.

Directed by Rocket’s own John O’Carroll, the video depicts the horror the once-dreaded affliction St Anthony’s Fire can cause. He explains: The video is about the ergot-infected grain poisoning caused by toxic moulds which cause muscle spasms, fever and hallucinations and other distorted perceptions.

“It features all the band members at various stages of intoxication after consuming ergot-infected rye bread, capturing their confronting terrible visions.”

Presenting as the very deepest of psychedelic folk odysseys, clawhammer arpeggio technique, violined guitars and vocal glide, gently tribal drumming with the scent of generations past amassing at your shoulder, ready to consort and dance, exult in the shade, “St Anthony’s Fire” is a pastoral drone-folk incantation of the very finest form.

David J Smith expands on the song: “Conceived and recorded in a mushroom field (somewhere) in England, ‘St Anthony’s Fire’ sees our unravelling mystery tale radiating towards its peak of delirium.

“Dare to stare into the frame, but – beware! The Devil’s Itch! Beware! the (we)evils in the tea.”

The self-titled debut album, which will be with us in July, consists of 13 tracks rich in adventure, investigation, and intrigue, taking in oceanic kosmische, blissful pastoral and celluloid-score tension.

I guess if I had to try to put it into words, it’s my attempt at a musical interpretation of a very trippy and psychedelic murder mystery tale, or otherworldly dream-hallucination,” reflects David.

The Holy Family aesthetic evolved naturally through initial improvisation and then a meticulous whittling and honing of the song harvest.

For the band as a whole, aesthetic inspiration comes from the magical realism of Angela Carter – whose 1991 documentary The Holy Family Album christened the new project – and the surrealist art of Dorothea Tanning. Both point at a dark and spectral brew of mushroomy excellence; a burrow into a deeper folklore of the land that still whispers its name if you listen deeply enough.

Elsewhere on the album, expect to be seized by the multiply narrated trance-state tale of “I Have Seen The Lion Walking”, the fictional television theme of “Skulls The ….”, in which the detective protagonist is an acid head rather than the usual hard-beaten alcoholic; the spirits of Don van Vliet and Mac Rebennack.

Oh: if you haven’t yet, it’s time to submit to the brilliant animation accompanying “Inward Turning Suns”, the first single from the album.

The band has announced a launch party for the record, to be held at Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston on release day, July 2nd; at which the band will be joined by Steve Davis for a DJ set with Kavus Torabi. Full COVID safety measures will be in place, following guidelines.

The Holy Family’s The Holy Family will be released by Rocket Recordings digitally and on vinyl on July 2nd, and may be pre-ordered right now from Bandcamp.

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