Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Hold On” by Holy Ghost! from their 2011 self-titled album on DFA Records.
The New York City electropop duo featuring Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser grew up together from about the age of seven, in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. At an early age, they bonded playing music and in middle school formed a hip hop group called Automato. The group was produced by none other than James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Tim Goldsworthy of The DFA. Following the dismemberment of Automato, the pair stuck together and created Holy Ghost!, but it was only a few days prior to the pressing of their first single in 2007 when they settled on a name. Since then, they’ve sporadically released a single every once in awhile, until finally the culmination of a full-length is here.
Musically, they keep things simple and use a lot of drums. Their hip hop days are since past, yet they laud the throwback sounds in older genres, especially disco. And nothing is more disco apparent than today’s featured song, “Hold On.” No matter how hot and dancy the groove of the song gets, the vocals and rhythm keeps its cool. It’s a nonchalant homage to the synth-heavy disco dance beats of yesterday and the chrome plated electro pop of today.
Currently, Holy Ghost! is on the road in Europe. Hopefully, it wont be long before they come Stateside, so check their MySpace page for updates. For a taste of the live action, here is a video of them playing “Hold On” live in NYC last summer: