Setting the mood with ease, this EP from The Holy Knives is incredibly beautiful, and pours through with multiple factors that help give the experience an authentically original, engaging aura.
Beginning with Always Gone, the sound is immediately peaceful, feeling a little Massive Attack-like with its distant rhythm and simple, looping riff.
Then you get this voice, seemingly out of nowhere, adding an undeniably human feel to the track, lyrically and performance-wise. Suddenly we’re somewhere between the likes of Chris Isaak and Portishead. And the rise and fall of the melody proceeds to entrance as the beat moves along.
Stunning, a personal favorite discovery this summer already.
The building blocks laid out in track one are further explored as the EP progresses. Flickers of Americana-esque guitar create a slightly Western vibe, the beat is gentle yet dramatic, and that voice transcends any noise found elsewhere and grips from the moment it begins to sing.
This second track, Cathedral, is notably more intense, with a bigger sound and a longer-form melody and story-line. I’m reminded of Alex Turner’s project The Last Shadow Puppets.
Then we get Love Runner, and the mood is different, synths wash over the sound of a retro, eighties-like drum, and the vocals are soft, doubled but almost whispered. Dashes of guitar again throw in a sort of cinematic vibe, as do sudden injections of additional synth riffs. The lyrics are as intimate as ever, intriguing and seductive amidst this quietly confident soundscape. The heightened passion for the hook works really well to elevate the whole thing. Another highlight.
Things come to a close with a song called The Stranger, one that takes its time to build and envelop the listener. The sound is secure now, you know this as The Holy Knives, straight away. Here things get personal, reflective of the self, contemplative and relatable for the deep thinkers, perhaps the over thinkers. The whole thing is mellow and spacious, yet still intense and rather haunting. A great way to end the EP for its undeniable honesty and powerful sense of longing.
I’m impressed, a great band with a striking sound entirely of their own right now. It will be exciting to hear where else the songwriting takes them over the coming years.