Song of the Day: Holy Esque – Fade

Song of the Day
08/05/2015
Jacob Webb
photos by Dave Lichterman (view set)

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 DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Fade” by Holy Esque from the 2015 Submissions EP on Beyond The Frequency Records / Believe Records.

Holy Esque – Fade (MP3)

It's difficult to parse out the words being howled by Holy Esque's Pat Hynes, but backed by pulsating, explosive guitars, his sentiment is never unclear. Hynes formed the band with keyboardist/guitarist Keir Reid, guitarist Hugo McGinley, and drummer Ralph McClure, and soon became one of Glasgow's most talked-about bands. After supporting Wu Lyf on tour, the band had picked up momentum before entering the studio to record what would be the first of a string of singles before the 2013 Holy Esque EP. Further touring followed, as well as another pair of singles before the release of this year's Submission EP. Dramatic guitar bands with stadium-sized emotions have dominated Scotland's music scene for close to a decade, but Holy Esque has no direct sonic debt to Frightened Rabbit's stark confessions or The Twilight Sad's anguished laments, as the echoing post-punk punch of "Fade" confirms. Befitting of its namesake, the song begins with a slow-building guitar line, but Holy Esque's penchant for placing one stabbing instrumental part on top of another soon arrives, and before long, each band member is throbbing alongside Hynes' jagged growl. What's most notable about "Fade" isn't its scale, but how it's mixed and arranged to sound like a four-pronged attack. It takes confidence to lower the volume and focus in on your own songwriting abilities, especially when they've proven to work well at loud volumes, but that's exactly what Holy Esque have done on "Fade".

Holy Esque just played a pair of EP launch shows in the United Kingdom, so if they announce further touring behind the EP or their next release, that news will be posted over at their Facebook and Tumblr. Below, watch the band play "Fade" live on KEXP last year.

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