SXSW Six Pack: Holy Wave
Picking up where Spacemen 3 left off, while ending up where the Beach Boys might have gone had they listened to more Velvet Underground albums, Austin’s Holy Wave convincingly carries on that city’s storied psychedelic heritage.
Something of an Austin institution, playing even on the hottest summer nights at Eastside staple venue Hotel Vegas, Holy Wave’s live experience has captured listeners and developed a devoted local following over the years.
Awash in keyboards that both anchor and warmly wander in and out of songs like a cat, Holy Wave’s sound is organic, fun and unrelenting, dusted with a touch of vocals that get it right –trance rock in places with a touch of surf, drawing listeners in with many sonic layers.
Even if you’ve had a bad day, the hazy vocals and gospel keys punctuated by an insistent drum/bass locomotive + guitar hooks = pharmaceutical quality of relaxed joy that Pfizer probably can’t touch.
While their sonic origins aren’t easily pegged to one thing, Son of Sound from their new album Relax could easily be mistaken for a track on Spacemen 3’s Recurring –it’s hardly surprising to see them land a spot for this year’s Austin Psych Fest.
Fittingly slotted in to provide local support for Crystal Stilts when they last came through town (who were excellent), Holy Wave have just returned from a month-long tour of Europe in support of their new album and appear to be on their way to being a cultural export.
The lads are currently on a West Coast tour with Goat that will graze Seattle (Neumos) April 14. Get there early goat lovers.
More in this series: