Brighton based, Holiday Ghosts, paint an uncanny picture of the underbelly of Great British living. Blending surrealism with gritty realism, the band – consisting of drummer, Katja Rackin, and guitarist, Sam Stacpoole – give hilarious, enraging and heartbreaking glimpses into the injustice, disparity and at times sheer bewilderment of being consigned to societies lower rungs.
Newly signed to FatCat Records for the third full length release, North Street Air, the group double down on their infectious blend of jangly indie pop while losing none of their lyrical bite, crafting a glorious flower bed concealing the sharpest of thorns.
Here we catch up with Rackin and Stapcoole to find out the five tracks they have on repeat right now.
Speedboat – Dog Toy
Sam Stacpoole: Speedboat are good friends of ours – we originally knew Johnny from Falmouth days, but made much better friends with both the speedboys when we met up again in Brighton. They just came out of nowhere with some fully formed amazingly well written music. It’s never been like, ‘yeah they’re good, especially for a first gig.. they show promise,’ just straight away pretty fuckin’ amazing. Their image is absolutely perfect in a way that should give me the creeps but just kind of provides this sense of belief in their vibe. Two brothers who are willing to wear speedos together and lay down oiled up on a beach at night for a band photo. They’re kind of mystical. Dog Toy is a jam. It’s a foxy tune.
Silicone Prairie – Lay In The Flowers
S: We’ve all got really into this band lately. The whole album is RAD. I really dig this production; it’s super thin and Lo-Fi and definitely sounds sped up on a cassette. His voice actually kind of reminds me of Stan from South Park, I think that’s got something to do with it being sped up. This track has such a good vibe it’s kind of like a country song played in such a weird sound that it’s actually a punk song. Silicone Prairie just totally refreshed punk rock to my ears. I listened to this a lot when I was a postman at the start of the year so I guess it reminds me of walking Rottingdean.
Ubiquitous Meh! – Just Like Real Life
S: Luke’s music is some of my favourite current stuff. I’m yet to see Ubiquitous Meh! in their new band setup but we’ve done lots of gigs in the past with Luke as a solo performer with drum machine Organ and Moog. He absolutely shreds the organ and so tastefully. ‘That bit in Friends where Ross says Pivot, it’s just like real life!’ I love that line.
The album Southway Gothic that this is from is all amazing and it coincided/ influenced me listening to a lot more dark wave/experimental synth music/gothy stuff. Thanks Luke.
Cate Le Bon – Miami
Katja Rackin: Reward is one of my favourite recent albums, and this song in particular feels really timeless. I saw her play at Rough Trade in London when the album first came out, and when she played this song I was really moved. It makes me feel sad, calm and happy all at the same time – I love how the saxophone mimics the oohs and aahs in the vocals in a really nice harmony. It’s kinda like the backing vocals to the backing vocals.
SAULT – Wildfires
K: I think this song, and all of SAULT’s catalogue really, is so powerful and relevant. The lyrics in this song directly and fearlessly point towards issues of ongoing racism, and specifically condemn police brutality: ‘take off your badge, we all know it was murder.’ It’s blunt and poetic at the same time. It’s a form of protest and solidarity, but also a really clever and beautiful piece of music.
I also love how even though it exists in the landscape of modern pop and R&B, it has a surprisingly dirty/overdriven vocal sound – which brings an edge and a genuine of-the-moment feeling.
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