On "Demon's Hand" Hannes Ferm updates the Cambridgeshire via faierie's dust charm of Syd Barrett for the Pitchfork set. As HOLY, Ferm betrays more than a little of Real Estate's urab-weary charm – skewing slightly closer to the wilderness than swimming pools.
Ferm, who resides in Umea, Sweden, sings with the kind of countryside innocence that masks satanic horrors in British films like the Wicker Man and the Omen. The inmovability of the drums is offset nicely by the sparse, effects-free guitar and subtle whirl of a keyboard drone, which almost resembles a tin whistle. The highlight of the track is the squealing backing vocal.
It's great to hear guitar music that doesn't evaporate in the midst of aggressive reverb – where everything is laid bare. It's a brave way of presenting music, as it requires the artist to have full confidence in all of the parts they've laid down.
HOLY's debut album Stabs is out March 11 via PNKSLM Recordings and Ny Vag Records.