Paint Holy Holy Sony As its title suggests, the second album from Australian indie rockers Holy Holy is a textured, colourful and vibrant piece of art, woven together with breathy melodies and expansive synths. Paint’s daring nature is reflected in the chaotic aesthetic of its cover design, created by Newcastle artist James Drinkwater. The release is an ambitious and cohesive response to their critically acclaimed 2015 debut, When the Storms Would Come. Where that album took a measured, psychedelic approach to rock and country, this release focuses on a wider soundscape and a heightened atmospheric intensity. Founding members Timothy Carroll (Brisbane) and Oscar Dawson (Melbourne) have ensured winning elements remain a central part of the equation. Carroll’s pure, soothing voice floats above Dawson’s whirring, fluid guitar lines and below boils a strong foundation of strident percussion. True Lovers and Send My Regards embrace the striking synth vibes of the 1980s, whereas tracks such as Elevator, December and Darwinism take influence from other contemporary Australian bands, including Ball Park Music, Boy & Bear and the Paper Kites. That Message is a strong start, complete with a funky rhythmic atmosphere, which is followed swiftly by Willow Tree, reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys with its catchy guitar hook and a cappella interlude.
Though its energy ebbs and flows in a hypnotic wave, Paint remains constant in its intelligent construction and emotional resonance. It’s a delightful listen and an exciting new chapter in the career of this impressive Aussie band.