Holobody is the project of producer Felix Green and his sister Sea Oleena, who are from Saskatchewan. This is their second record of the year, in a way: she released a solo record back in April that her brother produced. This, however, is more of a collaboration. He even sings at times.
The music is psychedelic folk that has been fed through a laptop. So, in short, Beck-like. However, Holobody do this pretty well, with both Oleena and Green having nice voices for what they are doing, in addition to Green being rather good with his laptop skills. There are a few transitions / transformations on this record that i find to be pretty cool.
The record kicks off with Unfold, a simple vocal piece with a vaguely country feel to it, the siblings singing forlornly of their home on the Canadian prairie. And then, inexplicably yet organically, the song transforms into a looped noisy mess, with IDMed beats clicking away. It is actually a beautiful transition, and shows nicely what Green can do with his software.
Hurricane Season is next, and starts with a nice bass beat and an old African American preacher sample looped and yelling, shades of the recent Paul Simon record, or Primitive Radio Gods if you want to go way back. Over this, there is a funky bass riff, some looped keys, and Oleena rapping in layers, just muttering strange stories with echo and odd panning effects. Eventually Green takes over the vocals, singing a little more than rapping... There is a vaguely Themselves feel to the parts he leads, while her parts are kind of High Places, only much more produced than anything by that band. This is very different, and i have to admit that my description is a little more interesting to me than the actual song. But then again, hip-hop is not my thing. Your mileage may vary, of course.
The very brief and fun Stomp Coda is next, with tons of layers of echoed voice, guitar, violin, and hand-clapped percussion. This is a hootenanny song done for the laptop generation. Pretty cool. Try not to get hay in the laptop though -- Macs hate that.
Mixing it up yet again, Holobody give us a pop song. Riverbed Watch has a frantic beat, strummed guitar, and Green singing lightly. There is a good bass riff here, and the brisk pace makes this rather fun.
Way The World Goes Round is the most Beck-ish song here, with strummed guitar, heavily echoed voices, and backwards looping drone. Prelude pushes further away from folk music, with electronically looped guitar and Oleena's voice slightly IDMed. It has almost a lullaby feel to it, with a back and forth rhythm combined with the very delicate singing. However, as the song grows it gets denser. I like this one a lot. It is kind of like Primitive Radio Gods meets Azure Ray.
The denser percussion at the end of Prelude just suddenly cuts over into Procession, with Explosions in the Sky-style guitar tremolo and a nice piano riff over a thudding, clattering beat. It's an instrumental track, but really nicely done. I guess this is where Oleena steps back and lets her producer brother do his thing, and he does a fine job.
It's back to the hoedown for Michael, with acoustic guitar, handclaps, and deep bass. Eventually her voice comes in, in layers, breathy, reminiscent of Hope Sandoval. This is a nice frantic song.
Down To the River To Pray starts with an a capella gospel part, the brother and sister singing forcefully and with nice harmonies. Eventually an acoustic guitar comes in behind the voices, and the song moseys for a while. In time, the whole thing gets fed into a laptop, and the various layers are looped, reversed, distorted, echoed, and generally mangled, the simple gospel tune cut and pasted into a dense, noisy drone. Another impressive transition from Mr. Green.
Finally, the whole thing wraps up with Acid Rain, which has a faintly dreampoppish feel. There is soaring guitar, sparkly keyboards, and the two voices in echoed layers. There is almost a hint of M83 here, that sort of bright shimmery feel, while at the same time the clear diction reminds me of Museum Mouth, only with the voice not so far in front of the mix.
Overall, this is nice. These kids are doing some interesting things, and i am curious to see where they go.