For a band that have from the outset been pegged as ‘folk-rock’, Newcastle’s Holy Moly & The Crackers sure have come a long way in their sound and their approach. They’ve been a fierce live proposition for a decade now and released three studio albums that have seen their songs evolve from festival-friendly folky-stomps to something more widescreen and epic, without losing the raw, punky edge that has won them such a loyal and vocal fanbase. Obviously we know what happened in 2020 and how that stopped the live music industry in its tracks…
But rather than licking their wounds and feeling sorry for themselves, the band decided to use the time to write a very different record, something that really reflected where they are now. The result is Solid Gold, an album that digs deep into the Americana that’s played an ever-greater part in their sound and is full of the ‘big skies and long roads’ (partly as a result of a trip to Austin Texas in the Spring of 2022). They recorded Solid Gold in regular haunt Blank Studios in Newcastle but took things to a whole new level by adding Dutch producer Wessel Oltheten to the mix.
Leaning into their Bob Dylan and Carole King influences, as well as the sleek beats and production of Danger Mouse, and the pounding riff-o-rama of Jack White at his most crazed, Solid Gold could only be made in 2022 but feels like it could have been exhumed any time from 1970. The end result is a rich but streamlined sound, with voices and rhythms to the fore, energetic and punchy (a storming mix from multiple-Grammy winner Vance Powell plays a big part in that).
The first single from the album is ‘Hot Red’, a seductive Americana rock-n-soul number which capably sums up Solid Gold’s new groove.
“Hot Red’s about being addicted to the road, about moving from horizon to horizon”, band co-leader, Conrad Bird explains. “I guess it was on our mind a lot over the last few years when we couldn’t go further than our local park. It’s the first track from our new album and shows off what we are trying to do musically – we focused on grooves, bass lines, finding space for the vocals to move and breathe. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Vance Powell on the mixes. You know, this guys a powerhouse, he brought a lot of energy to the table.”
Artists’ website: https://www.holymolyandthecrackers.com/
‘Hot Red’ – official video:
Holy Moly & The Crackers hit the road for their biggest tour yet in April 2023, with dates in Germany, The Netherlands and the UK, including their biggest hometown show yet at Newcastle Boiler Shop, and are planning a typically frantic festival season after that.
The Solid Gold Tour 2023
09 – Cologne, Artheater (DE)
10 – Frankfurt, Nachtleben (DE)
11 – München, Backstage (DE)
12 – Berlin, Cassiopeia (DE)
13 – Dresden, Poligamie Festival (DE)
14 – Hamburg, Nochtspeicher (DE)
15 – Amsterdam, Melkveg (NL)
21 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club (UK)
22 – Newcastle, Boilershop (UK)
30 – Exeter, The Phoenix (UK)
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