I’m really enjoying this resurgence of ’80s-styled new wave, goth and alternative rock, these days bundled into categories like coldwave, darkwave and post-punk. There’s this retro-futuristic vibe underlining the entire movement. The old-school spirit remains firmly conjured, while a slicker, smoother style is applied, not quite mainstreaming the end result, but definitely making it more approachable.
Add a little bit of ’90s UK shoegaze and ’70s Krautrock to this mix, and you have a band like Cologne’s five-piece Holygram. These guys remind of contemporaries like ACTORS and The Soft Moon, but with a slightly softer touch.
The track I’m drawn to is “Still There,” a quick-driving pulse of adrenalin without the nerve-inducing rush. It’s a bit cooler in tone, with whispery vocals drifting through warped fields of reverb-induced guitars and a rolling rhythm section. It’s like a contemporary shoegazed rendition of a coldwave tune, distilled into a more accessible aural concoction of harmonic potency.
Holygram have a show coming up next week at the Wiltern, as openers for VNV Nation. I’m thinking of checking them out, just based on this song. And having VNV on the bill is just icing on the cake.
Here’s “Still There” to take you back to the ’80s … and forward to the future.
“Still There” from the 2018 album “Modern Cults.”
And here’s the official music video, filled with VHS static, ’80s fog machines, and strobing silhouettes. And even comes with a warning: “This video may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.” So seriously, be advised.