HOLY MOLY & THE CRACKERS
release new album ‘Salem’
– out 14 July 2017 on Pink Lane Records
– new single ‘Salem’ out 5 July –
Watch / stream / post video for ‘Salem’ here
Watch / stream post video for ‘Mary’:https://youtu.be/n7EW3bhSSNw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7EW3bhSSNw&feature=youtu.be
Watch / stream / post video for album track Cold Comfort Lane: https://youtu.be/tTPDSb3EV0c
Listen to / post Cold Comfort Lane track: https://soundcloud.com/holymolyandthecrackers/cold-comfort-lane/s-uQvSL
Album Live Launch Parties:
14 July – Newcastle, Cluny2: https://goo.gl/DKcTXf
05 August – York, Speigaltent (Parliament Square): https://goo.gl/c4PYGp
With their unique fusion of “gypsy folk rock”, Holy Moly & The Crackers hail from the North East, and have a loyal, devoted and ever-increasing fan base: “They are a bunch of wild gypsy troubadours with more than a touch of magic about them” (Diva). The band have built themselves an enviable reputation, pulling packed houses for their ferocious, visceral live shows, and now they are heading into heavier, gutsier waters with their new album Salem – produced by Matt Terry (The Enemy), mixed by Gethin Pearson (Mallory Knox) and mastered by Nigel Watson (Scissor Sisters); to be self-released on the band’s Pink Lane Records.
Over recent years Holy Moly & The Crackers have produced a moonshine mix of genres, creating their own unique and compelling sound, influenced by an electric and eclectic range of folk and popular music. But ‘Salem’, which they will unleash this year, is a departure. It’s folk only insofar as the songs are built around a narrative – they have a driving, urgent beat about them. The band has hardly drawn breath over the last two years – furiously touring and developing their live show, yet all the while creating new material, pushing at their sound, moving things on: The new songs are darker, starker, more intense.
Of the new single, ‘Salem’ the band say: “It is hard, perhaps irresponsible, to ignore the tectonic shifts in our political structures over the last two years: Pandora’s box has been opened and the monsters are coming out. Ruth Patterson’s (lead vocal, violin) take on the witch trials of Salem (1692), is a mature and intelligent metaphor for the combustive, dangerous mix of fear, ignorance and hysteria that is blowing up today. The past informs the present; will human nature ever change? “untie me, untie them, untie yourself from the saga that seems to go on for all time” It’s a very impressive, important piece of writing. The band said “It felt right to name the album after the song.”
Lyrically, Salem is steeped in references to baroque, superstitious practice and the dark arts – tarot, memento mori, witchcraft and hallucination. It is perhaps fitting that the album was recorded in a studio that was once a medieval chapel above a family tomb. Musically, Salem marks a distinct change in direction to Holy Moly’s previously recorded material. Less gypsy, more rock. Cold Comfort Lane is reminiscent of The Zutons with a touch of the Arctic Monkeys. Lead singer Ruth Patterson sings “She’s got you in her sights” with a definite Alex Turner-esque, lip-curling snarl. As well as Cold Comfort Lane, the songs Mary, Sugar, Easy As The Sunrise and Let Go are all heading in a “heavier, crunchier direction” (Clash) Exceptions to this heavier aesthetic are Woman From Spain, a fiesta of a song about a lesbian holiday fling, and Hallelujah Amen, a swampy Gospel number featuring The Birmingham Community Gospel Choir – both tip their hat to the eclectic gypsy/circus circuit from which the band has arrived.
Ruth Patterson (violin/singer) brings class and elegance to the compilation. Aforementioned high-octane numbers are framed by a trio of her songs that both lyrically and musically ooze a maturity way beyond Ruth’s 25 years: Yours To Keep, with its Waits-esque New Orleans groove and The Wall, with its orchestral grandeur reminiscence of Regina Spektor, are both acute metaphorical explorations of paranoia and anxiety. The title track, Salem uses the Salem witch trials of 1692 to comment on current world events: the persecution and marginalisation of minorities and the rise of xenophobia, homophobia, sexism etc. in the mainstream conscience.
Salem will lift the band’s live shows to another level. “We’re changing and developing all the time” say the band. “We describe ourselves as “gypsy-folk-rock”, but that’s a very loose term. The songs are still built around narrative but now there’s a bigger beat; more compulsion, a harder drive, a darker underbelly. We’re toughening up”.
Holy Moly & The Crackers are surely one of hardest working bands on the circuit with a following that multiplies with every tour. Over the last two years they have toured the UK extensively, and made impressive debuts in France, Germany and Holland. Their festival appearances include Glastonbury (Avalon Main Stage), Hop Farm (Bread & Roses Main Stage), Cornbury (Main Stage), Secret Garden Party, Boomtown Fair, Wilderness, Larmer Tree, Kendal Calling, Underneath The Stars, Belladrum, Just So, plus many more. In 2017 they will tour the UK in April and November, Europe in June (NL, FR, DE, IT) and their festival appearances will include Boomtown and Bestival among others. Its going to be a helter skelter ride.
UK/EU Tour: 2017
C&P Pink Lane Records 2017
Published by Wipe Out Music
Produced: Matt Terry
Engineered: Matt Terry and Liam Farrel at Vada Studios
Mixed: Gethin Pearson for Big Life Management
Mastered: Nigel Walton at the Edit Suite UK
Ruth Patterson – Vocals, Violin, Keys
Conrad Bird – Vocals
Rosie Bristow – Accordion, Keys, Saxophone
Martha Wheatley – Trombone, Backing Vocals
Peter Hogan – Electric Guitar
Jamie Shields – Bass Guitar
Thomas Evans – Drums
Henry Bird – Trumpet, Keys
Kerrin Tatman – Cello
The Birmingham Community Gospel Choir