Unknown Pleasures #158 ft. The Holy Knives, Bear With Me, Saltwater Sun

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The Holy Knives (Publicity Shot)

The Holy Knives (Publicity Shot)

It’s time to dive beneath the surface of the mainstream and discover three deep water pearls as Getintothis’ Mike Stanton once again unfurls more Unknown Pleasures.

San Antonio-via-New Orleans brothers, Kyle & Kody Valentine, aka The Holy Knives, release their debut EP, Ritual Bloom on May 11. Every Day is being teased ahead of this release and it’s a sultry, moody and tranquil four minutes of rock & roll with a tinge of desert psychedelia.

You can almost see the heat-haze rising over the chiming guitars, thrumming bass and Kody’s cool and slightly detached vocals. This atmosphere plays tricks with your mind, like desert Peyote, pulling you into their world of “duende”, a term drawn from Spanish surrealist poet Frederico Garcia Lorca.

Duende is spine-chilling art, something that rises from the depths of the soul and is born of the blood. It is something beyond logical comprehension that one feels deeply and understands intuitively. Lorca says the duende, “is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. a dark, mysterious force that exists but cannot be explained. As opposed to the muse, the duende is an inspirational spirit the artist has to battle every day in hand-to-hand combat.”

The Holy Knives took their name from a combination of two of their favourite works of art… the film The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky and the poetry book The Singing Knives by Frank Stanford. Both of these works share a fearlessness and a quest for truth through the irrational, as well as a flood of beautiful, thought-provoking imagery, that the brothers look to capture in their music.

File next to Timber Timbre, Morphine and The Afghan Whigs.

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Bear With Me (Press Shot)

Bear With Me (press shot)

There are obvious comparisons with Washed Out when listening to Bear With Me. It’s the dreamy, hypnotic and swirling atmospheres he creates that are almost as insubstantial and ephemeral as wood smoke yet there’s a liminal and delicate beauty contained within.

Bear With Me is vocalist/keyboard/bass player Thorbjørn Kaas’ alter ego and after being part of the Danish Aarhus underground scene for a while, he has finally broken ground with his own music.

Recalling Röyksopp at their most mystical, After Me rather drifts like vapour trails, visible and tangible but out of reach. It is as if Kaas is teasing us with his sound, like only hearing it if you’re looking the other way, caught trapped in the corner, echoing with ghostly refrain.

After Me carries a powerful sensibility and a pure vulnerability – “the feeling that hits you right after you part from someone you used to be close with”, Thorbjørn says about the song,

“Even though it is hard to say goodbye and let go you can always hope that the person you were once close to can stay in your thoughts and still be a part of your life in the future. I would describe the song as both melancholic and hopeful. It’s an homage to any kind of close relation between people, but also an acknowledgement of how delicate and changeful such bonds can be.”

The track is driven by a catchy bassline and a strong beat, while Kaas’ soft airy voice is carried along by a large carpet of floating synthesizers. All adding up to constitute a chilled lounge-core cut that you can sway to.

Saltwater Sun (Press Shot)

Saltwater Sun (press shot)

Saltwater Sun have released tenacious new track The Wire, taking their irresistible blend of guitar pop to a whole new level.

Marshalled by frontwoman Jen Stearnes’ gritty yet infectious vocals, the Reading quintet’s first release of 2018 boasts stratospheric hooks, explosive guitars and delicious harmonies, elevating them back alongside their indie peers and attracting attention from both press and radio.

Hidden within the abrasive guitars and cool-posturing is a reflection of the current environment of misinformation, intolerance and distrust, as the band state, “The Wire is taking a look at the turbulent times we live in; the world’s never been so connected, yet it’s very easy to feel detached”.

The Wire plays with the anthemic tropes of U2 blended with the bloodless and abrasive edge of PJ Harvey to conjure a track that bristles with righteous fire and foaming indignation.

 

 

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