Hailing from Estonia, Holy Motors is a five-piece twang and reverb band featuring three guitarists. They are cowboys at heart who come off as shoegazers by their presence and dreamcatchers in their music. Their equal parts somnambulant and sultry Sleeprydr 7” from earlier in 2017 was aptly described as “psychedelic rock that hits like a dream despite undoubtedly seeking to soundtrack nightmares” by Stereogum.
Slow Sundown, Holy Motors’ debut full length release, finds the Estonian dreamcatchers utilizing a consistent sonic palette ranging from dark psychedelic pop to shoegaze-infected western music. But while Sleeprydr, much like 2015’s Heavenly Creatures 7”, provided only a fleeting glimpse into the dreamscape that their music evokes, Slow Sundown’s eight tracks offer a more immersive experience for those brave enough to take the ride.
While the guitar lines from lonely cowboy ballads like “Honeymooning” could easily serve as the central themes for unwritten Morriccone scores, or a Mazzy Star b-side, dystopian anthems like the the rhythmically propelled “Signs” break new ground for the band and demonstrate that Holy Motors are not bound by their influences.
Thematically the album is comprised primarily of sad love songs centered around the idea of motion – the motion of a satellite orbiting a planet, the motion of a passenger riding shotgun in a car – as it relates to stellar-scale and existential isolation.
Produced by Merchandise’s Carson Cox and recorded at Brooklyn’s Kutch1 Studios when the band was visiting the U.S., Slow Sundown is a beautiful alien artifact and hopefully the first of many.