|MH-282 Holobody - Riverhood
Riverhood is the first release from Holobody, the sibling duo of Felix Green and Sea Oleena, two talented artists in their own right who’ve together crafted a masterpiece from elements of gospel, hip-hop, and electronically-propelled folk. Album opener “Unfold” is a sentimental soliloquy, and its seamless juxtaposition first into the playfully rapped “Hurricane Season” and then into the instrumental "Stomp Coda" sets the tone for the genre-hopping on the rest of Riverhood. Brother and sister trade vocal duties throughout the album. "Riverbed" is a beautiful hymn of death and rebirth with a chorus washed in reverb. Sounds seem to merge and collapse, until the listener paddles into the void and disappears. Other highlights are the hypnotically spiraling “Prelude” and the psychedelic closer “Acid Rain” with each song taking the album in a new and usually unexpected direction. Perhaps the most striking moment is the duo’s take on the traditional hymn “Down to the River and Pray,” which begins with reverent beauty before taking a sideways turn into percussive celebration and ambient experimentation. All of these pieces are drawn together on Riverhood into a whole that is lush, vibrant, and extraordinarily inviting.
|Holobody’s Riverhood is going to fit perfectly, right between your M83 and Tennis albums. - Potholes In My Blog / Highly recommended. - Paper / Listen if you like: Her Space Holiday, Stereolab, Atlas Sound, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Suicide, Mazzy Star, The Flaming Lips, Toro Y Moi, Beach House, Radiohead, The Stone Roses. - Eastern Surf|
|Hailing from Saskatchewan, Canada, Holobody comprises of the brother-sister duo Luke and Charlotte Loseth, aka Felix Green and Sea Oleana. The pair have worked together before, Luke having produced his sister’s work, but going on the engaging marriage of male and female vocals throughout Riverhood, it would seem that this is a joint effort, delicately sliced right down the middle with a fisherman’s knife. Working together before may well have stood them in good stead but the years of shared childhood are really what this album is all about. You can almost hear the summer breeze in the trees as the kids ran free.|
There’s great diversity on show here with a dream theme gently pervading, but as one track seeps into another the mood can slowly alter: from the lazily upbeat daydream to the slightly sinister nightmare that lingers upon waking.
Unfold draws back the curtain with male vocals welcoming us in – a pleasing start with soft handclaps and the hint of a bounce, piano dabbing away. The track builds slowly, snippets of a shouty man disturbing the reverie and without warning Hurricane Season is upon us as track one gives way to track two. A trot-trot beat and female vocals take us now with the bounce more prominent and percussive sounds whispering into the ear. Luscious Jackson, Drop Nineteens and The Avalanches come and go as Luke speaks in a sing-songy way, the intonation and playfulness just like the instrumentation. Whilst we’re lead away from the garden path it never veers abruptly. Layers of softness ensure a safe yet curious journey.
Several listens to Riverhood reveal intricate details and complex patterns. Evocations of childhood drift in and out. The thumpy affair of Stomp Coda ends with the TV having been left on as the kids head out outside, an old black and white movie playing to no one as the door clatters shut on a sun-drenched room.
The vocals of Charlotte and Luke often intermingle, as on Riverbed, with invitations to “meet me on the riverbed” while a jaunty, trippy beat encourages us to follow. The sun is shining, there’ll be there waiting for you, don’t be shy; it’s a beautiful day outside. Charlotte’s voice is something to behold. Soft as snow, sometimes breathy, but ever confident so as never to become grating. On Prelude she tells us “Don’t go… don’t go taking it too fast, take it too slow” and we only need to be told once. Her wish is our command.
Procession is the most instrumental track, graced by a chorus of distant angels as a shadowy figure appears on the horizon. A stuttery collapsing beat, with clicks and clacks, leads the way as the darkness disappears, aided by a guitar plucked by Gabriel himself, lifting us up above the clouds to soar over streams and hay bales, letting us see for miles.
Michael wanders in on Procession with wind chimes in hand and the singing of birds. There are whispered suggestions of Zero 7 but this isn’t a coffee table, this is table tennis played against your cousin in the greenhouse whilst wearing fake vampire teeth. Echoes, handclaps and swirly-whirlyness could make Susie woozy but Sea Oleana keeps her from falling over. She’s always there to guide you.
Holobody’s cover of Down to The River to Pray is nigh on perfect: not only does it capture the imaginings of their childhood, real or not, but its simple rendition and layers of voices usher us once again to the water. The occasional laugh can be heard (is this playful laughter or is there an undercurrent of something not so innocent?). Follow, follow, they will lead you. Take their hand, watch your step - it’s slippery just there, you might trip, you might fall… fall for their disarming charms… fall in love… fall… fall… in… love… fall. - Kemptation