Album review: Holy Motors, “Slow Sundown”

by Jon E. Lynch

Holy Motors, “Slow Sundown”

Available: Friday, Feb. 9, via Wharf Cat Records in various pre-order bundles. The physical album is available on compact disc and vinyl, with LP versions accompanied by either a Wharf Cat enamel pin or a seven-inch of the album’s standout track and presumed single “Sleepyrder.” For those going the digital-only route, various high-quality formats (MP3, FLAC and more) will be available Friday. Order the record direct from the label, or better still, hit up your local independent record store to give the brick and mortar the much-needed and deserved business.

A few weeks back, my contact at Sacred Bones, a favorite and trusted label of the last few years, sent along a teaser from a little-known band from Estonia. The label described their sound as a “five-piece twang and reverb band featuring three guitarists. They are cowboys at heart who come off as shoegazers by their presence … dreamcatchers utilizing a consistent sonic palette ranging from dark psychedelic pop to shoegaze-infected western music.” Needless to say, I was totally intrigued by a simple yet appropriate descriptor. I played that single, the infectious album opener “Honeymooning,” on repeat up until the full-length arrived. Beyond that first cut, the eight tracks of the full-length lived up to my imposed hype and did so in spades. “Slow Sundown” was recorded when the band was visiting the United States on tourist visas and was produced by (4AD recording artist) Merchandise’s Carson Cox and recorded at Brooklyn’s Kutch1 Studio. The record is a wonderful accompaniment to the land and soundscapes of our Southwest. Not yet sure if a North American tour is in the cards this summer, but I imagine they’d fit in nicely at festivals such as Levitation (formerly Austin Psych Fest) or Joshua Tree’s Desert Daze.

Recommended for fans of the intermingled sounds of Spaghetti Westerns and shoegazing psychedelia and the likes of Spindrift, Ennio Morricone, or Federale, and the early offerings from Calexico, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, or The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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