Saturday, November 12, 2016

Holly Blue - UpBeat

Polish electronic music still holds mysteries to me. As much as I like discovering new bands, I'm a bit surprised and shocked that I haven't heard about duo Holly Blue earlier.
They live in Mysłowice - miner town in Silesia that is known for its strong alternative scene. Also their new album UpBeat released in June by Soundpetersburg Records covers huge part of my tastes, so I don't know how did they escape my attention. I can probably blame it on the profusion of young Polish acts promoting themselves during festival season.

Holly Blue are producer Emil Blant and singer Sonia Kopeć (arguably the most beautiful Polish indie vocalist of her generation, though Klaudia Szafrańska from XxanaxX is also gorgeous and you can hear sonic similarities between those two acts). Their debut LP First Flight (2014) was mainly acoustic affair resembling the other Polish duo Lily Hates Roses. Good songwriting was already apparent there but I prefer electronic flourishes of UpBeat. There is not much sense in seeking comparisons with the other bands, though I was reminded of Estonian Zebra Island whose singer also sounds like less eager to please Kylie Minogue. The hand of co-producer Eddie Stevens (Roisin Murphy, Zero 7) is almost palpable. Holly Blue even covered Moloko's Primitive for the occasion. My favorite tracks are: danceable Maybe and stomping One Second.

The whole is very cohesive yet suitably varied and rivals LP's by Sexy Suicide and aforementioned XxanaxX in quality. The band threatens to pursue different creative directions in the future but this year's effort will be solid position in their oeuvre!

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