Somewhere on the long stretch of HWY 290 between Houston and Austin, Holy Fiction was formed from the ashes of various other bands who’d been playing in their respective local scenes. After countless demos and honing of their own musical voice, the band is now set to release Hours From It, their debut LP.
Turning on Hours From It, you’re bound to recognize Evan Lecker’s distinctive voice. It dwells somewhere in the land between The Twilight Sad and Shearwater, though we’ll lean more towards the latter since the band hails from Texas. You can’t help but ignore the comparison, however, as the way he carefully extends certain syllables and seems to hold notes just a second longer than most define a great portion of the album.
It seems that the story of Hours From It relies upon sweeping movements and accentuated elements. Take “Song 10,” which holds onto a somber emotion, but it’s fleshed out by orchestral touches and keyboard notes in all the right places. Such light notes take what would seem an ordinary song and carry the tune unto another level entirely. These are insights into the careful planning the group spend in crafting their debut.
The title track, “Hours From It,” provides listeners with the opportunity to hear what the band may sound like in a live setting, or on future recordings. It’s a grittier tune, with the vocals coming across less pristine, which actually does a lot for the emotive quality of the song itself. Then, just as the song seems to fade away, it begins in an entirely new direction, but with the same unrefined sound alluded to earlier. Holy Fiction backs that up by closing the album with another similar track, “Yes They Were Here.” As unfortunate as this may sound, Lecker’s vocals are at times too pristine. Just a little bit of scratchiness makes him all the more enchanting, and that is precisely what the last two album tracks offer listeners. The music, too, benefits from this dynamic, as the vocals no longer seem to be simply hiding within the song; they stick out a lot more, giving the lyrics a bit more definition.
As debuts go, Holy Fiction has to be pleased with the work they’ve put into Hours From It. The record shows careful thought in the way the songs were pieced together, which demonstrates that this won’t be the last we hear from this band. All the clarity in the instruments creates vibrant soundscapes that rise and fall with Evan Lecker’s voice, leaving listeners yearning for more. Keep your eyes on the road ahead, as this shows a bright future for HF.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/05-Song-10.mp3]
Download: Holy Fiction – Song 10 [MP3]