Singles & EPs
About Holy Wave
The Texas psychedelic combo Holy Wave take a restrained approach to their music, sounding like they have only just woken up as the tapes start rolling. Mixing sleepy shoegaze, reverb-baked garage rock, and slowly creeping psych, the quintet staked out a quiet claim for one of the more satisfying bands of their era. Their early records, like 2011's Knife Hits, leaned more towards the garage; they soon started adding more vintage synths to the mix, and by the time of 2020's Interloper, had enough Vox organs and Moogs running through their songs to make Stereolab jealous.
Holy Wave formed in 2008 when multi-instrumentalists Kyle Hager and Julián Ruiz decided to leave their hometown of El Paso for the more musically friendly environment of Austin. After adding Ryan Fuson, Joey Cook, and Dustin Zozaya to the lineup, they developed a sound that worked in garage rock, glazed-over psychedelic sounds, and echoing shoegaze. Each member contributed to the writing and took turns adding whatever instrument seemed right. After making a name for themselves in Austin (and becoming regular guests at the annual Austin Psych Fest), Holy Wave released their first LP, 2011's Knife Hits. In 2012, the quintet issued an EP, The Evil Has Landed, and these first two releases were paired on a 2013 collection called Evil Hits.
The band spent time touring and honing their sound by adding drones and more layers of dreamlike reverb, then in early 2014, issued their second proper album, Relax, through the partnership of the Reverberation Appreciation Society and Burger Records. The following year, they released The Evil Has Landed, Pt. 2, a collection of B-sides from Relax and demos for their next LP, Freaks of Nurture. That album was produced by the band and busy Austin producer Erik Wofford, and was issued by the Reverberation Appreciation Society in early 2016. Holy Wave set out on tour afterward, making their usual appearance at the Levitation Festival in Austin and recording a Fuzz Club session in London that was released in early 2017. The group spent the year touring with Hope Sandoval and working on their fourth album.
2018's Adult Fear was produced by Dillon Fernandez of the garage rock band Leather Girls and featured a less lush, slightly uneasy sound that allowed Holy Wave to bring some spookiness into their laid-back tunes. As usual, a spell of touring followed before the band headed back to record more music. Working with producer Charles Godfrey in his Scary American studio, the group bucked tradition to finish one song at a time, while layering in more keys than ever before, and for the first time, letting each bandmember take over lead vocals. The resulting album, Interloper, was released in July of 2020. ~ Mark Deming & Tim Sendra