|Sea Oleena’s epically beautiful Sleeplessness is already one of my favourite records of this year, criminally underrated and immeasurably elegant. So when I found out Charlotte was collaborating with Felix Green, her brother and also producer of the aforementioned album, on a project entitled Holobody, my expectations couldn’t have been much higher. Released a couple of days ago, the nine tracks that form Riverhood are a fascinating blend of hip hop beats, folk inspired vocals and genuinely adorable songwriting.|
Riverbed sees Charlotte taking lead vocal responsibilities, however whereas in some joint projects the vocalist can steal the show, this is certainly not the case with Holobody, as Green stamps his authority on the track with his magnificent compositions. As always, Sea Oleena’s tones are wonderfully soothing and nigh on perfect; stunningly aided by the ethereal instrumentation.
The near vocal-less Procession finds Holobody combining menacingly dark dubstep influenced beats with swirling synths and harmonious samples. The folk-pop moments are unashamedly honest, such as opener Unfold and the funky, off beat Michael, however there are few artists who succeed in capturing the essence of idyllic songwriting in as magical a method as the Oleena siblings. It’s also rewarding to hear an artist try their hand at outright gospel music, as found on Holobody’s version of the infamous Down To The River To Pray, a song originally written by 19th Century American slaves. The track follows a traditional gospel pattern, vocal harmonies and repeated acoustic guitar riff, before breaking into a sea of reverb and white noise, proving fairly intoxicating.
In a year when big money collaborations appear to be catch of the day, yet their outcomes have been somewhat questionable (see Blake & Vernon) and overwhelming forced (see Jay-Z & Kanye); Holobody have remained true to their family ties and it deservedly pays off. With Riverhood, Felix Green and Charlotte Oleena (real names Luke Loseth and Charlotte Loseth) have created a phenomenal piece of work, that appears to benefit from the numerous family bonds that feature throughout. The album notes pay credit to three other Loseth members, and it’s this true to life feel that allows the beauteous songwriting to breath, ensuring another fantastic release from Oleena and Co. - Crack In The Road