Synth-pop supergroup Holodrum debut with feel-good anthem “Free Advice”
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  • Post published:13/01/2022
  • Post last modified:13/01/2022

In a shimmer and a smirk of disco-laden electro-pop, Holodrum arrive with their debut single, “Free Advice”. It’s their first release as this particular collective, but comprised of members from Yard Act, Hookworms, Cowtown, Virginia Wing, Drahla (to name a few), Holodrum aren’t strangers by any means. Their familiarity means that their mission boils down to one thing: absorbing what every member loves about ‘doing music’, and then… doing it.

“When it comes to doing music, most bands fall between two extremes of doing it for some goal or as an end to itself,” Sam Shjipstone (guitar/vocals), sums up. “I think Holodrum is about the joy and complexity of living, and I just hope to god everyone gets to have a good time doing it.”

Through the track’s jittery sonic complexity, earworm melodic fragments, and sharp, surreal atmospheric construction, Holodrum aptly condense all the creative excitement into a four-minute mantra. Though Emily Garner’s lead vocals blend into the landscape of sound rather than shouting for attention, when they do surf along the surface of the track, it’s with the same light-hearted affirmations conveyed through the brightness of the music.

“[Free Advice] expresses the state of feeling invincible in the face of adversity,” Garner says of the song, “and acts quite explicitly as a piece of good advice, applicable to anyone that’s gone out of their way just to harsh your vibe.”

On Holodrum’s creative beginnings, it was a natural progression. “Apart from Emily, all of us had actually played together before in a covers band at a New Year’s Eve party at the Brudenell Social Club a couple of years ago, so we knew we could have fun together,” says Matthew Benn (synth/bass/production).

“So we set up to be a live party band early on. We wanted lots of people on stage having fun, playing for people that also wanted to have fun. It makes sense we take inspiration from bands like Tom Tom Club and Liquid Liquid; they were trying to help people to party at a point when New York was quite a scary and dangerous place – we’re doing the same, albeit in the face of a decaying world and a global pandemic.”

Finding harmony within tumultuous times, “Free Advice” is steeped in technicolour – as per its accompanying 8-bit animated music video. “[It] mostly includes things we miss and love about being in a band. Namely jamming, travelling, seeing stuff and enjoying the local delicacies. Iced in a candy-core palette, the video art is a motion collage of 2D, 2.5D and isometric 3D graphics,” shares the group.

“Free Advice” is out now, with the debut album set for release on 25 February. Follow Holodrum on Instagram and catch them live at Servant Jazz Quarters on 5 February.

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