As the frontman of long-running Vancouver outfit In Medias Res, Andrew Lee played moody indie rock before venturing into an ambient direction under the solo alias Holy Hum.
With All of My Bodies, his first official full-length as Holy Hum, Lee has landed in the middle ground between his past works. The synth-hazed sprawl of 2015's ambient piece Appendix C is still in place, but now the soundscapes are anchored by beats and heavy-lidded crooning. As with Appendix C, these 11 songs were written in the wake of Lee's father's passing, and as such, a grief-stricken mood permeates the album — even if the lyrics aren't explicitly autobiographical.
The album's dirge-like electronic ballads are beautiful in a gloomy sort of way, but the best moments are when Lee plays against type. "Heavy Lark" features Bon Iver-esque vocals and a surprising Spanish guitar solo, while the 12-minute "White Buzz" climaxes with a jagged, chaotic guitar freakout followed by a wordless, howling vocal solo (yes, an actual vocal solo).
At 54 minutes in length, All of My Bodies is an atmospheric epic that's easy to get lost in. The mood is dark, but the songs are pretty enough to be welcoming rather than alienating. (Heavy Lark)