Album Review: Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!

By on Monday, 11th April 2011 at 2:00 pm

DFA Records have some sort of omniscient buzz about them these days. The New York label is fast approaching its tenth anniversary in September and at present, they can’t seem to set a foot wrong. Set up by, amongst others, James Murphy of the recently split LCD Soundsystem, DFA has given breaks to the likes of the Rapture, Hot Chip and released all of LCD’s records.

With that LCD-sized gap in the DFA artist roster and New York moving as fast as it does, the label needs someone to step up to the plate and make cross Atlantic communications to the same extent as Murphy’s indie dance group did. Step forward, Holy Ghost!

To say that Holy Ghost! bridge the gap of the Atlantic Ocean might be an overstatement, but upon listening to this record, you can’t help but see the huge influence that LCD had over the two DJs. With many of the tracks on this record having been played across DJ sets that Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel played as Holy Ghost! over the last few years, much of this won’t come as a huge surprise to their loyal fans; but to the many that won’t have heard much, if any, of this record, it’s refreshing. What completes the rather small jigsaw of HG! influences is when you recall Friendly Fires’ 2010 cover of Holy Ghost!’s ‘Hold On’, which dare I say, Ed Mac and co. did better. Whilst Holy Ghost! don’t actually cover much new ground, what they do is take what LCD have done across the world, take a bit of influence from Friendly Fires (a trait that has been reciprocated by the St. Albans band) and add their own musical identity from both DJ and live aspects.

‘Hold my Breath’ stands out as a synth and vocal duo between a catchy dance line and well-thought out set of lyrics, whilst ‘Static on the Wire’ is probably the only track that has a really funky feel to it that has much musical merit of late. Whilst some tracks do seem to be filler between the more interesting songs, the radio-friendl,y indie-dance crossover is in no way a challenge to listen to and will happily sit in the middle of a record collection bridging your LCD Soundystem and Friendly Fires, even if it’s not quite as good as either group.


Holy Ghost!’s debut album is available now from DFA Records.

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