the holy family

the holy familyThe Holy Family: The Holy Family

Rocket Recordings

LP / CD / DL

The Holy Family recently released their debut album via Rocket Recordings. Simon Tucker takes the sugar cube and joins the journey.

The Holy Family are a band led chiefly by David J Smith and whose membership includes the likes of Kavus Torabi, Emmett Elvin, Sam Warren and Michael J York. Borne out of improvisations which took place in an old country house, the album was then molded into shape by Smith and engineer / mixer Antti Uuismaki, for approval and final overdubs from the rest of the collective. Inspired by everything from magical realism, children’s folk tales and the surrealist art of Dorothea Tanning, The Holy Family finds itself perfectly placed to soundtrack imagined journeys both outer and inner and seeing as most of us have not been able to travel far these last eighteen months then its timing could not have been better.

Geographically, The Holy Family is impossible to pin down. It is a nomadic work that seems to travel through borders from the stark white of industrial Europe to the rolling sands of the Sahara. It is in album that is in perpetual motion even when at its calmest as the cyclical nature of the music allows for vivid imagery to permeate the minds eye. Sometimes you are travelling deeper into your own self and sometimes you are staring at the world through the window of a bus never feeling anything else other than complete contentment and whilst there are no genre specific labels you could give it, The Holy Family is a definite relative of ambient music with its whole aura surrounded in a trance-like serenity, scattered in the dust and ash of many who have worked in this realm before.

Musically you can find glimpses of explorers that have gone before whether that be on the Another Green World-era Eno (Skulls The…) Pompeii rattling Pink Floyd (Stones To Water) and even the impressionistic soundscapes of Sigur Rós (I Have Seen The Lion Walking) only The Holy Family cover their sound in fire instead of ice.

The Holy Family also have a strong gift for drama and sequencing which helps the album flow in a cohesive narrative arc allowing for ups and downs, twists and turns. This means you are allowed the deeper and unsettling moments like Inner Edge of Outer Mind and See, Hear, Smell, Taste and the glorious hypno-groove of A New Euphoria which is a piece of music that loops beautifully like a prime Jah Wobble bass mantra. There’s even room for dark twist on the Laurel Canyon Sixties and Seventies sound with St. Anthony’s Fire.

This is an an exciting debut from a very promising band. It is an album that you will want to keep revisiting as its unsettled nature allows for many interpretations. The Holy Family allows you to see the potential in a cohesive and progressive unified front and its explorations are worth every penny of the ticket price. Get onboard…you would not want to be left behind.


Rocket Recordings can be found via their website / Bandcamp / Facebook / Twitter

All words by Simon Tucker. More writing by Simon on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find Simon on twitter as @simontucker1979

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Raised by music obsessive parents on a diet of Ska, Bowie, Queen… and the Bay City Rollers. Discovered dance music and heavy metal at the same time making for a strange brew of taste. I do this for the love of an art form which welcomes all types and speaks to us all. Find me on twitter @simontucker1979.


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