Holy Ghost! - Holy Ghost!

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  • Holy Ghost!'s Alex Frankel and Nicholas Millhiser might seem like newcomers, considering this eponymous album is their first. But that's because it takes them (seemingly) forever to release anything. The duo first made a name for themselves as part of Automato, putting out a collection of inconsequential hip-pop in 2004. Produced by James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy, the patronage gave them access to the extended DFA family. Guest spots on tracks from Hercules & Love Affair, Juan Maclean and LCD Soundsystem ensued. But while these affiliations have given them a leg up, as charming and catchy as Holy Ghost! is, the album struggles to truly uncover its own identity. Released four years ago, the duo's first single, "Hold On," was the sole material they had to show for themselves for a (very long) while. Effortlessly cool and breezy, it found its place on numerous mixes from DJs as various as A-Trak, Digitalism, Ata, The Bang Gang DJs and, err, Snow Patrol. Nothing on Holy Ghost! veers too far from "Hold On"'s DFA-stapled disco-pop mold. "Do It Again" and "Static on the Wire" both have the deadpan chorus, tight rhythmic section and loose disco feel of LCD Soundsystem; "Hold my Breath" can't help but evoke Shit Robot's poppiest moments. Sure, Holy Ghost! are clever (and obviously experienced enough) to pepper their productions with memorable details: a discrete piano pattern ("Wait and See"), a cavernous, cold wave ("It's Not Over") or angelic choirs ("Some Children"), yet their sense of self rarely feels genuinely theirs. Holy Ghost! does a great job of replicating Cut Copy's effete synthetic pop. Incidentally, Holy Ghost opened for Cut Copy's recent North American tour, and you could easily see them following in the Aussie trio's footsteps. That'll take time. And more releases. As for now, Holy Ghost! leaves you wondering what the NYC duo has to offer in a niche that is already starting to feel overly populated.
  • Tracklist
      01. Do It Again 02. Wait and See 03. Hold My Breath 04. Say My Name 05. Jam for Jerry 06. Hold On 07. It's Not Over 08. Slow Motion 09. Static on The Wire 10. Some Children