Whatever happens to Arizona’s The Holy Coast, they can always claim an ex-member of The Smiths as a fan and remixer of their work. Yet whilst Morrissey or Marr might have been a more prestigious influence, Andy Rourke’s interest in them is certainly well judged because The Holy Coast yield exactly the kind of results you would hope for, from mixing acoustic and electronic elements with emotive vocals.
‘The Highest Love’ actually comes close to matching its title; gentle folky verses build the atmosphere but the ambient, celestial pop chorus is a genuinely uplifting moment. The track appears in remixed and appropriately beat-heavy form by Jetlag NYC; a project helmed by the aforementioned ex-Smiths drummer. ‘Hands Down’ begins rather timidly before a surge of guitars heads into stadium pop territory, complete with dry ice. Frontman Brett Davis switches to a falsetto for the portentous ‘I Wrote You’ whilst ‘Fighting’ is another track which builds from a modest introduction into a heady and dramatic finish. The excellent ‘The Space You Haunt’, meanwhile, is perfectly judged chill-out pop, combining Davis’s breathy vocal style with cool, minimalist electronica.
At its best, ‘The Holy Coast EP’ ranks the Phoenix band alongside modern exponents such as pacificUV or Junior Boys. Yet where this outfit differs is that their music reveals ambitions to move from intimate to widescreen pop.
pacificUV, Junior Boys, Delphic