We are happier than an elephant in a peanut factory to welcome the inimitable Holopaw to the Misra fold!
Holopaw is a long-loved independent rock band from Gainesville, FL. In addition to Paw, frontman John Orth has also performed alongside Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock as Ugly Casanova. After a set of releases on Sub Pop, and one with Bakery Outlet, the band has signed on with Misra for its finest album to date. The “Golden Sparklers” b/w “Yearling’s Darlings” 7″ will see release in late 2012, followed by Academy Songs, Volume I in early 2013. Pre-order up very soon. Get ready!
Academy Songs, Volume I >>> Biography
Academy Songs, Volume I, Holopaw’s Misra Records debut, takes the band to never-treaded levels. Through three records and a collaboration with Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock (Ugly Casanova), frontman John Orth has honed his gift for lyricism, storytelling, and delivery. Now, backed by a variant possessing uncanny chemistry (complete with identical twin brothers), we’ve been graced with an unparalleled, breathtaking Holopaw album.
Over a ten-song cycle, the close quarters of an all-boys preparatory academy, and the world beyond its “ivied walls,” become the sites of devotion, betrayal, communion (or near-communion), and abject loneliness. The joys and thrills and dangers of both discovery and transgression are detailed. “The rising and falling of their little lives” is illuminated in stunning imagery.
Hips to hips and knees to knees / the heaving hills / the swollen seas / the hollows and the frozen peaks. / Fingers smell of tangerines. / Slow curve rivulets / the see-see-sawing of our breaths / the loamy, sticky in-betweens / the ticklish bubbling underneath.
The album maps, rather vigorously, the physical and emotional terrain of its young characters’ lives. Throughout, it finds them both reveling together and exiled from one another.
Golden sparklers / flares lobbed into the dark / fountains of embers / sucked into the night. / Wipe the sweat from the window to watch the firework display. / Roman candles arched over the lake.
The boys had all been sent to the far side of the lake / one held back until the fever breaks / sweating through his nightshirt / orchids curling into bloom / volunteer sleeps in the corner of the room / “Pardon me, sir. Sorry to wake you.” / “Respectfully, I say, this fever is not breaking.” / “There’s a war I’m steady losing on the far side of the lake” / “to a little dark horse who’s steady rising through the ranks.”
Jeremy Scott drove his Civil Defense Studio down from Brooklyn to record Academy Songs in a St. Augustine beach house. Serendipitously, the physical intimacy of the experience seemed to mirror the boys academy detailed in song. Holopaw lived, worked, cooked, and swam together. Their world consisted of playing music and cutting paths from beach house to beach and back again. Long days recording were celebrated over homemade horchata, fish tacos, and a different flavor of hand-churned ice cream each night (ginger lime and peach brown sugar standing out as favorites). A night swim would commence, followed by recording into the dark and light of morning.
Paw’s Patrick Quinney summarized the experience upon returning: “You know that feeling you have after swimming and getting a lot of sun, where you seem to experience every little thing–food, rest, humor, music–as a kind of deep physical and spiritual luxury? We have been asked by a surprising number of people if the recording got ‘beachy’ out there: in the sense that we made it entirely in an atmosphere of that physical and spiritual luxury, I would have to say that it did. I certainly hope that everything that sounded good or seemed like a great idea at the time will continue to do so after the last of the sand is out of our shoes.”