Posts Tagged ‘Estonia’

Estonian outfit Holy Motors have shared their second album “Horse”. Like other album cuts, “Trouble” packs twang and sparkle. Eliann Tulve’s dreary vocals cascade over warbling vibrato guitars, and it’s clear that this is a song of the night, but not one of playful roguery—this is for stargazing and cycling through one’s hopes and fears.

A Stunning ode to America, country music a wilder west, and a world HOLY MOTORS have been enraptured in all along.
Out today on all digital formats, Holy Motors’ Horse — the more hopeful follow-up to the band’s stunning 2018 debut, Slow Sundown — further reveals the unique influences that led to the formation of this enigmatic band of ex-Soviet cowboys.

From the album’s opening moments, songs like the rollicking ‘Country Church,’ with its classic rhythm and blues guitarline, and ‘Road Stars,’ a duet steeped in country twang, hint at the shared infatuation with the American West that band members developed waiting out their native Estonia’s long, grim winters with the warm company of western films. Meanwhile, the darkly abstract lyrics on like those found on ‘Trouble,’ and the slinking melodies that drive tracks like ‘Matador’ bridge the gap between Horse’s eight songs and the band’s prior work.

As a whole, while Horse is equals parts more complex and more human than any of Holy Motors‘ releases to date, showcasing a band that becomes harder to define even as we learn more about them.

“Trouble” is from the album ‘Horse’ out on 16th October.

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Though their music has often been tied to American roots music, Holy Motors were formed in Tallinn, Estonia in 2013, when founding member Lauri Raus (songwriter/guitar) recruited Eliann Tulve to join the band as songwriter and lead vocalist. With Tulve’s gorgeously foreboding vocals serving as a ballast for the guitar section’s “infinity-pool-style shimmer” the band quickly became as un-ignorable as they were inscrutable. 2018 saw the band release their critically acclaimed debut LP, Slow Sundown, which won them praise from Stereogum (Album of the Week), Bandcamp (Album of the Day) and DIY (Neu Pick) to name a few.

They even landed on one of their very own idols’s radar – Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre – who went on to work closely with the band in 2019. Since then Holy Motors’ incongruence has only grown all the more prevalent and endearing. They remain musicians from an ex-Soviet country who write songs that have been described as “shoegaze that sounds like the old West” .The resulting mystique, paired with their ability to write lyrics and music that resonate with a deeply relatable feeling of isolation, has allowed their music to connect with people from devoted shoegaze and western psychedelia fanatics to dreamer cowboys, driving through wide open country roads under the stars. Their second album Horse will land 16th October 2020 via Wharf Cat Records.

“Country Church” is from Holy Motors ‘Horse’ LP (out 10/16) you can pre-order LP/CD/Special Edition LP here…

Holy Motors

HOLY MOTORS is a Tallinn, Estonia based on dark twang & reverb sound like a band from a nonexistent movie. It bows to engines and echos and film-directors. Cinematic suspension is often more than not what drives the band towards a melody and meaning.  It’s “psychedelic rock that hits like a dream despite undoubtedly seeking to soundtrack nightmares”. Thankfully, Slow Sundown, Holy Motors’ debut full length release, finds the Estonian dream catchers utilizing a similar sonic palette ranging from dark psychedelic pop to shoegaze-inflected western music. But much like 2015’s Heavenly Creatures 7”vinyl, provided only a fleeting glimpse into the sounds that their music evokes.

Slow Sundown’s eight tracks offer a more immersive experience for those brave enough to take the ride. While the guitar lines from lonely cowboy ballads like “Honeymooning” could easily serve as the central themes for unwritten Morriccone scores, dystopian anthems like the rhythmically propelled Signs break new ground for the band and demonstrate that Holy Motors are not bound by their influences. Thematically the album is comprised primarily of sad love songs centered around the idea of motion – the motion of a satellite orbiting a planet, the motion of a passenger riding shotgun in a car – as it relates to stellar-scale and existential isolation. Produced by Merchandise’s Carson Cox and recorded at Brooklyn’s Kutch1 Studios when the band was visiting the US on tourist visas, Slow Sundown is a beautiful alien artifact that definitively delivers on everything we have been promised by Holy Motors’ work to date.


In it´s time, Holy Motors have supported Sic Alps, Dirty Fences and Mystery Train. The latter a movie by Jim Jarmusch.