Holy Void is a four-piece psychedelic rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their latest release For Everything Else is a five-track EP that came out in July.The EP opens with a rather abrasive guitar riff that instantly captured my attention. As the rest of the instrumentation comes in, the track transitions into a dark but equally lush texture; one that induces an almost trance-like listening experience. This opening track, “Rise,” serves as the perfect introduction to the five tracks that are to come. The line “I’ve been waiting for the sun to rise again” serves as the first glimpse to the lyrics of this EP. I was instantly drawn in by the delivery of this phrase. With a tone comparable to that of Interpol’s Paul Banks, the vocals sit comfortably atop the broad instrumentation that this track has to offer.
After “Rise,” we move forward with “matte plastic,” which is one of my favourite tracks off of this EP. I appreciate the time signature of the track with its driving 3/4 opening that smoothly transitions into a more relaxed 6/8 feel for the entrance of the vocals.
The rest of the EP continues with its impressive production, vocals, and instrumentation, the latter of which is given the spotlight on the instrumental track “Point Douglas.” “Point Douglas” is a strong point on this EP that features a gradually descending synth line that seems to make its way through many different pitches and starting points throughout its minute long presence on this track. The slow melodic lines are complemented by a rhythmically dense guitar line. The combination of the two create a nice contrast within the song, making it one of my favourite moments this record has to offer.
Holy Void demonstrates an awareness of location and setting with their music. The opening sentence of their Bandcamp description reads, “Holy Void is a nightmare inducing psychedelic quartet hailing from the wintery abyss of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.” Musically, with For Everything Else, the band conveys its cold geographical origin through its dark vocal delivery, thick production, as well as song titles (see “Red River,” “Point Douglas”). I can’t help but think of how this awareness of location reminds me of The Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse; an album that draws apparent inspiration from locations (a dissatisfaction with location in particular).
The pace of this album can be a tad slow at times, however this is almost entirely made up for as the the gloomy nature of this EP finds its place as it compliments the mood. With For Everything Else, Holy Void successfully creates an exceptionally atmospheric EP perfect for the cold winter months that are quickly approaching. (Self-released, holyvoidband.bandcamp.com) Isaac Tate