Holy Holy: Thurs, November 21 @ Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Words by Greg Mackenzie - Published on November 24, 2013
Holy Holy were a bit of an unknown entity for me heading into Thursday night. I’d heard good things, but not having seen them myself, it was a kind of like going on a blind date I’d set up on a dating site. The only thing I had to go off was the band’s one released song, “Impossible Like You”, but it’s a cracker. So if this was a blind date then Holy Holy was like the girl on eHarmony who only has the one photo of herself. And yeah, admittedly it’s a damn sexy photo, but you’re not sure whether it’s indicative of what she really looks like, or if she’s a fat chick who’s a god at working with camera angles.
The supporting acts for the night were Brisbane’s Hannah Karydas, who performs under the moniker of Eves, and the Gold Coast’s GOVS. Eves’ sound extends across the pop genre with elements ranging from folk to shoe gaze and dream pop. For example, “Heavy”, which is backed by beating drums and folky guitar, reminds me of First Aid Kit’s “Wolfmother” though with vocals that are comparatively pared back to the Swedish duo’s. “Zen”, on the other hand, features some effortlessly beautiful guitar, dreamy synth and really shows off Eves’ vocal range. Kinda like if Mazzy Star and Haim hung out together.
GOVS, the musical project of Josiah Birrell, is from the Gold Coast, but sounds decidedly un-Gold-Coasty. I imagine Josiah 10 years ago as the boy who did choir and was made fun of for having to get up and sing in front of school assemblies, because Jesus, this guy has a beautiful voice. And now that he’s grown up he’s telling everyone to shut their face because he’s making some killer indie pop. GOVS already released an EP this year and another single, “Holy Infinity”, earlier on this month. Josiah took to the stage with some supporting band members for what was a pretty good set, his latest track being one of the highlights of the night.
Now, as I said earlier, I was unsure of Holy Holy. Oscar Dawson, lead guitarist of electro rock band Dukes of Windsor, and Timothy Carroll, winner of 2009’s QMusicAwards’s folk song of the year, seem an unlikely partnership. What’s more, they’ve completely blown away the indie pop/rock music scene with the first single off their forthcoming album. After seeing their live set, it’s safe to say that, yes, “Impossible Like You” is indicative of what these guys are capable of. Their songs are clearly influenced by their respective musical stylings, with unique and complementary elements drawn from both. Holy Holy combines story-driven lyrics of folk music with rock influenced guitars that rise and fall. Timothy and Oscar were joined by some talented supporting band members and put on a good set. Highlights were, of course, their single, as well as another soon to be released track, “Rabbit Hole”, and a cover of Neil Young’s “Southern Man”.