Album Review – North Street Air by Holiday Ghosts (2021) (Fatcat Records)

HolidayGhosts

For their third album and 1st with Fatcat Records, Holiday Ghosts have left their native Falmouth on the British west coast and appear to have travelled to their new, east coast, Brighton home, on the coattails of the best that the Melbourne dolewave scene has to offer.
As such Mr Herandi, Total Crisis and Glue take a core Terry sound, augment it with the gregarious jangly melodies of Cool Sounds and lace it all with the perfection of the brilliantly disinterested House Deposit style vocals that the Aussies do so naturally. If all of this sounds like a perfect mix, then a) it is and b) it manages to get better !
The ‘better’ arrives in the tracks that are imbued with more dynamism. Melbourne dynamism. Here tracks such as as the superlative standout, Off Grid and Blood Orange, imbue the melodies with an incessant rumble and thrum that is so reminiscent of the Dick Diver / The Twerps aesthetic and just as beguiling.
Before I just concede the Ashes to the Aussies completely, start calling our towns daft names like woologangwongarama and blaming our dogs for any missing babies, it should be noted that the ‘perfect essence’ of this album is ably assisted by the contrast all things Aussie, with a definitive air of quintessentially British that basks in our aura of crooked teeth, binge drinking in once beautiful Spanish towns and breakfasts that are bigger than a small state and greasier than a margarine pole.
As such, the title track offers pommie disinterest, with a Baxter Dury style semi-spoken word vocal delivery that belches out both the misery and minutiae of life under heinous Tory rule, whereas the absolute brilliance of the Ray Davies / The Kinks aesthetic is heard in the laconic, slight folk-pop inflections of Bathing Suit, Makin A Fool and Told My Baby. Not an nasally aussie consonant in earshot in such tracks and the album thrives on this sense of apposite.
Holiday Ghosts have always been very good. However, this is undoubtedly ‘that moment’ that all the best acts have, where they move forward with a genuinely special release. Grab a copy of Falmouth’s finest on vinyl here or pick one up at one of their gigs (yaaaayyy! gigs!!) as advertised in the picture above.
 

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