Guest blog by Curator contributor Rob Hays.
As music fans, we’re often asked to make comparisons and assign labels, often with the purpose of more narrowly defining our tastes and the attendant level of coolness we extract from them. Alterna-folk or lo-fi? Indie-noise or Art school punk? Too much like U2 or not enough like Arcade Fire? Blur or Pulp? It helps make party conversation with strangers flow more easily, and provides fodder for late-night arguments with lifelong friends. But sometimes, even with the hyper-specialized world of post-MTV music, you just can’t put your finger on what a band is.
Houston’s Holy Fiction has been that sort of band for me. From the first time that I heard their demos online, I knew without any prevarication that I liked them, and I even knew why, in large part. A listen through their upcoming eight song EP, Hours From It, showed me all their talents: the direct, catchy melodies, the falsetto heights and grumbling depths of lead singer Evan Lecker’s voice, and the lyrics at once heart-rendingly honest and confoundingly obscure.
But what are they? There’s a dash of the 80’s auteur pop of Peter Gabriel and Sting here, a wall of shoegaze fuzz and feedback there; a splash careful strings that add depth without earning the moniker “orchestral” mix with a smattering of hooks that disguise a dearth of actual choruses. After a week of spinning through the eight tracks, the primary word that can effectively tie a bow around Holy Fiction is rock. How anti-climactic.
Ultimately, the beauty of music is found perfectly in this seeming lack of closure. As infinitely diverse as language is, the reason that music was created was to transcend language, fill in the gaps of feeling that even the most passionate words could not corral. Even though the current popular musical ecosystem has more niches and sub-niches than one could possibly count, every band worth its salt finds a new differentiation on an old theme and makes it their own. Holy Fiction isn’t a groundbreaking, original band; they’re talented and passionate and they have moments when they make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
Holy Fiction’s debut release, Hours From It, is available starting on Feb. 23rd on iTunes.
Listen to Holy Fiction’s song, “Exit.”