Holy Motors – ‘Horse’ album review

Photo credit: Grete Ly Valling

Formed in Tallinn, Estonia, back in 2013, Holy Motors have gained praise from Pitchfork, Stereogum and Bandcamp and have played shows with bands including Low. Now, they’re set to release ‘Horse’, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed ‘Slow Sundown’, via New York City’s ever-brilliant Wharf Cat Records.

The slow-burning opener ‘Country Church’ finds Eliann Tulve lamenting how churches are no longer accessible every day of the week while a gentle bass sound glides it forward. ‘Endless Night’ is darker and more atmospheric, with a sound that falls somewhere between Cigarettes After Sex and Beach House to start with before delving into something more ethereal: ‘It’s another endless night’. The song is all about fights and disagreements with some captivating storytelling: ‘Two men seem to have a quarrel. One man steals the jewel, while the other plays the guitar, ‘cos he’s a star’. The nostalgic ‘Midnight Cowboy is equally somber as Eliann recalls being ‘A little late to the party, everybody’s got somebody in the air that’s full of love’.

‘Matador’ has lyrics about sadness and solace that reminded us of Scott Hutchison (‘I don’t worry I ain’t got no friends to talk to on the road that I’m on with no end’) before becoming more of a story about breaking out of the mundaneity of life – broken ice machine and all: ‘Should I stay or should I look for more?’ ‘Trouble’ is another country-tinged song with just the right amount of darkness (‘Down by the sea where I was born into your dreams but then you left me’; ‘Now all of my fears they hold me up, they hold me till the sun comes. Then put a cross on my heart and I hope, I pray, that I won’t die’) before The Raconteurs-style instrumental of ‘Life Valley’ brings the album to a close.

Holy Motors’ ‘Horse’ is one that you’ll want to back…

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