Posts Tagged ‘Oscar Dawson’

Image may contain: 2 people, beard and text

Holy Holy write dramatic songs that soundtrack imaginary coming-of-age films from the 80s; music with a propulsion built for highways, house parties and death pacts. Teach Me about Dying chugs along as synthetic strings swoop in and out like ghosts, instruments echoing into the void and the song’s main tenet shines through: that in order to live a full life you must keep your inevitable death at the forefront of your mind. Memento mori, as they put it in the medieval period, a concept adapted from the ancient Stoics. As Holy Holy put it: “Teach me about dying”, so I can learn how to live.” A good message that never sounded so alive as when coupled with Holy Holy’s throbbing backbeat.

Ostensibly about dying, this new song reveals itself as a parable on living and parades Holy Holys continued musical evolution as they approach their forthcoming third LP.

Self-produced by Oscar Dawson & Timothy Carroll , Teach Me About Dying was born from a 1980’s-era portable Casio keyboard and features dark driving bass, live and programmed beats, melodic guitar tones, and the return of Ali Barter and Ainslie Wills on background vocals. Just as life itself, the song manoeuvres between jubilance and melancholy at once.


Frontman Timothy Carroll describes the song as, “an exploration of the way in which our mortality affects our lives … death imbues life with urgency and clarity and a sense that time is precious. And so, although it is by definition morbid, remembering that we will all die is actually a really important tenet by which to live.”

The new single succeeds the fearless left turn on Faces. The first single from their third studio album saw Holy Holy move away from their trademark solos and riffs on the experimental mini-epic, and perform a wildly successful lap of the country on a headline tour.

Holy Holy have their third album due out later this year.


Straddling the commercial comfort-zone and progressive out-rock world, Aussie’s Holy Holy are another of the year’s awesome breakout bands – a big stand out at Sound City and Liverpool Music Week there’s much more to come from this lot. Any discerning Floyd fan should immediately seek out You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog and bask in that riff.


Holy Holy is a musical project that brings together two composers from two different cities: award-winning singer/songwriter Timothy Carroll from Brisbane and guitarist/composer Oscar Dawson from Melbourne. The pair crafted their debut EP while living in Stockholm and Berlin in 2011, demoing tracks in the apartments, stairwells and snow covered studios of those two great cities. The pair have since returned to Australia and have been recording with reclusive producer and collaborator Matt Redlich (Emma Louise, The Trouble With Templeton, Ball Park Music). The band released “The Pacific EP” in Australia in 2014 and in the UK/EU in May 2015, which features singles “Impossible Like You” & “House Of Cards”, Their most recent single “History” shot straight to #2 most played song on Hype Machine,



Holy Holy started out as a song writing side-project, Timothy Carroll and Oscar Dawson had separate and varied musical careers, the duo started writing together when their paths crossed in Europe. The demo’s they created became “When the Storms Would Come”, a hugely successful debut release, and one of the more popular Australian albums in 2015.


Recorded largely to tape, the album is 10 tracks of elegant song writing, with warm tones, beautiful harmonies and some epic guitar solo’s that give a nod the bands’ love of Neil Young and Pink Floyd. The sound is modern, yet heavily influenced by the artists and sounds from an earlier time. Joined by a regular backing band, the duo has barely been off the road since the album was released, including tours of the UK and Europe. A fantastic live act, they will no doubt gain even more fans when they join Vance Joy on the road early in 2016


“Sentimental & Monday” is the brand new single from Holy Holy’s forthcoming album “When The Storms Would Come” Carroll, from Brisbane, and Melbournian guitarist/composer Oscar Dawson initially crossed paths as volunteer English teachers in Southeast Asia. They reconnected in 2011 while both again leading transient lives in Europe. Carroll, an acclaimed singer/songwriter, was living in Stockholm. Dawson had transplanted to Berlin with his then band Dukes Of Windsor. When Dawson traveled to Sweden, Carroll asked him to assist with some songs. They ended up with a “suite of demos”. The pair continued collaborating back in Australia. “At that stage we weren’t even really sure what the project was going to be,” Carroll admits. “We were just feeling our way through it.” Regardless, the duo began penning darker, more intense material. The newly anointed HOLY HOLY issued the psychedelic, if foreboding, Impossible Like You as their first single,

In 2014 the “project” morphed into a full live band, enlisting drummer Ryan Strathie (ex-Hungry Kids Of Hungary) and bassist Graham Ritchie (Airling’s collaborator). Their reclusive producer, Matt Redlich (Ball Park Music, Emma Louise, The Trouble With Templeton), also joins them as a “special guest”, hiding behind a Prophet-08 synth. “He’s a bit like our Nigel Godrich kinda character,” Dawson quips.

HOLY HOLY’s “music tragics” bonded over Neil Young (and Crazy Horse), Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd and Dire Straits, as well as contemporary acts like Midlake, Band Of Horses and Grizzly Bear. And these myriad influences have fed into When The Storms Would Come. Indeed, though HOLY HOLY cherish “old, classic songwriting”, that nostalgia is juxtaposed with a modern aesthetic. In the studio the band recorded live onto Redlich’s two-inch tape, configured to 16-track. “You get this really warm, saturated colour,” Dawson enthuses. However, eschewing rigid traditionalism, HOLY HOLY occasionally utilised digital post-production. Redlich encouraged them to follow their instincts in determining the best approach, song by song. “He’ll be ballsy with his decisions,” Dawson explains. “He will make the decision in the moment as to what the sound is supposed to be… It makes the recording a whole lot more exciting because, as you’re recording, you’re hearing it as it’s gonna sound.” As such, When The Storms Would Come – led by the jagged single History – sounds “natural”. Dawson holds that HOLY HOLY’s unique sound has evolved into something that’s amplified, or “weighty” – their sonorous, sublime melodies augmented by “stronger, more powerful guitars and bigger vocals” and rhythmically-dense drumming.