Holy Other: Held (Tri Angle)
Following up the promise of their With U EP, Manchester artist Holy Other presents this concise 35-minute album of new material. Well, mostly new — some of it is actually reworked from the EP, particularly the opening track “(W)here” which is a variation on the same themes of With U’s “Know Where.” Many of the tracks are slow and morose, punctuated by vocal sample snippets, often without context or lyrical content. More so than ever many of these tracks sound not so different from Balam Acab’s Wander/Wonder album on Tri Angle last year, with a sort of disembodied R&B spirit to them. It’s perhaps best not to dissect the tracks of Held but rather to experience it as one long piece — the sound is very consistent from start to finish, which makes its brevity work to its favor. I do quite like it when there’s more of a steady pulse, like on the title track near the album’s end; that steady 4/4 kick really helps lock everything in step in a nice way.