Sydney foursome The Holidays' debut album, Post Paradise, may have been a long time coming, but it has categorically been worth the wait. The first two singles, Moonlight Hours and Golden Sky, hinted at the exciting musical re-birth this band has taken over the past 18 months, yet do not exclusively define the depths of this blissful musical journey.
Formed in 2007, the band quickly made their mark on the Australian musical landscape. The release of two EP's at opposite ends of 2008 saw them scoring Triple J rotation, share stages with The View, Jamie T, The Temper Trap & Little Red, and regularly name-checked as one of the nation's most promising new acts before bunkering down to prepare their long-player.
The band commenced writing the album early last year and a metamorphosis of sorts gradually began to take place. They found themselves drawn away from the simplicity of their earlier indie guitar manifestation new and varied influences were absorbed and they found both the groove and layers of a song equally as rewarding as the glistening pop hooks that had come naturally from their formative days. Meanwhile, the purchase of basic recording gear to streamline the demo process saw them delve headlong into the vagaries of production lead vocalist/guitarist Simon Jones took the lead, and alongside his bandmates, this hobby-turned-healthy obsession saw the band ultimately self produce the album. A steady guiding hand also came from of one of the country's premier mixers Tony Espie (Avalanches, Midnight Juggernauts, Cut Copy).
The aforementioned lead single Moonlight Hours set the mood for what's now been delivered in spades and in its complete context; a groove-based record full of summer vibes, elec-tropical dance floor anthems and mellow, breezy melodies. Moonlight Hours hit # 1 on Triple J's playlist earlier this year, while remixes by Jonathon Boulet and The Swiss have also attracted generous lashings of hyperbole in the blogosphere. The latter appeared on a recent NME download Mixtape compiled by UK disco/electro wunder-kid Grum, and made much-loved Belgian re-mixers' Aeroplane's chart podcast. NME have taken notice with the band recently appearing in the magazine's Buzz chart.
Most recent single Golden Sky, due for an imminent UK 7" release by the Passport Label (Cloud Control, The Panics), blends wild percussion, sing-a-long chant choruses, falsetto vocals and squawking guitars into an action packed, yet equally thrilling ride. Elsewhere, the sublime 6AM is the aural version of a floatation tank, Indian Summer Anniversary starts like relaxing sunset drinks with friends before becoming the fireworks display, Slimeface grunts with a sly, yet undeniable rhythmic swagger and A Million Eyes' spooky intro and subsequent floor shaking rump are an equally unexpected and stunning finale to the album.
Post Paradise is clearly a massive leap forward for The Holidays, and most importantly, an album to be consumed as a full course. It traverses genres and decades of inspiration, and only makes sense of the band's diversity in its entirety as it brilliantly blurs the lines between indie rock, experimental, tropicalia and of course, late nights and summer days. Welcome to (Post) Paradise.