Montreal electro-rockers Holy Data may have formed from the ashes of epic myth-rockers Sunset Rubdown and indie popsters Parlovr, but this new outfit's debut LP blazes a confident trail of its own. An infectious collection of tracks ranging from spacious rock to dance floor groove, Holy Data finds the band making bold, idiosyncratic choices that cleverly mask existential angst with enthusiastic instrumentation.
Take, for example, opening track "Bad Future": It harkens to Metronomy's grimy synth-pop, but its 7/8 groove immediately makes it far more interesting than anything Metronomy have put out in the last five years. And despite the foreboding lyrics and Bible reading sample in the bridge, the song's hooks and grooves keep things buoyant.
Though there's a recurring sense of caution, the band are at their best when they give in to their endearingly goofy tendencies. When you can hear the group having fun, it's hard not to join in: On indie pop number "Hello Loneliness," you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone else enjoying isolation as much; the abrupt space-rock groove of centrepiece "Ether" propels the album into its more straightforward back half, while "I Want It All" explodes in a sax-laden climax and "Orphan Maker" stockpiles vocal and synth hooks on top of a Krautrock beat.
Sneakily camouflaging their more melancholic tendencies with the power of pop positivity, Holy Data is a winning combination of space rock prowess and indie pop jubilance. (Independent)