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. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Meditations” by Holograms from the 2013 album Forever on Captured Tracks.
Falling somewhere between 1977-era punk and its post-punk remnants, Sweden’s Holograms have emerged as one of their country’s most consistently engaging and visceral punk groups. Vocalist/bassist Andreas Lagerström, drummer Anton Strandburg, guitarist Anton Spetze and synth player Filip Spetze formed the band while working in a factory, and after releasing their debut album last summer, the band was famously stranded in France when they ran out of money. (“I’d rather I don’t have money than go to a shitty job,” remarked Lagerström regarding that time.) Perseverance paid off though, and after the band began touring in the U.S., the band had enough experience to fuel the songwriting sessions for their sophomore effort. Forever, the band’s second album, finds the quartet approaching songwriting with more finesse, but with no less fervor. Borrowing a trick from fellow Swedes Refused, the band keeps their chaos under precise control, keeping their intensity perpetually high while shifting dynamics. “Meditations” only clocks in at just under three minutes, but that’s more than enough time for Lagerström to run through the striking visions in his mind while his bandmates match his pace. Across a cutting guitar line and moody synths, a shouted chorus of “Destruction/Destruction/Destruction” turns from something claustrophic to an anthem. If the walls are caving on Holograms in “Meditations” - which is certainly what it sounds like - they’re not going down without a furious last gasp.
Holograms’ tour behind Forever stops in Seattle next month when they play Chop Suey with TV Ghost on December 14th. Get more info and tickets for that 21+ show here, keep up with the band on Facebook and their page at Captured Tracks’ website, and watch the official video for “Meditations” below: