Holopaw’s relaxed and melodical approach isn’t exactly synonymous with Gainesville, Florida. Energetic punk rockers like Against Me! come to mind, but that shouldn’t lead to any infused doubt over Holopaw’s third full-length, Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness. This is a record that is thick with a precious attention to melodies and slow, growing deceit. Each of the ten tracks on Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness creep with magnificent wonder, bringing to mind campfire gems like The Cave Singers. But sad-sack indie pop these guys are not; lead singer John Orth‘s affectionate warble can feel as devastating as an uppercut to the nose and as meaningful as a phonecall from abroad. Each pseudo-Americana track is at once affection and belittling. You are at the mercy of Holopaw’s string-induced sound, whether you like it or not.
What’s most intoxicating about Oh, Glory. Oh, Wilderness is not the cohesive feel, from the rippling “Little Stallion With A Glass Jaw” to the late night, hollow jangle of “The Cherry Glow,” gently flowing into each other with an ease and lack of remorse all the same. No, it’s the crescendos, which rise unfettered like something of a dream. “The Last Transmission (Honeybee)” is a song that might take awhile, complete with heavenly back-up vocals and true, lamenting country grit, but when it does click, listeners will be left staring into the music box, wondering how something so simple could be so moving.
By Joshua Kloke[Rating: 4/5]