By Julijana Capone
WINNIPEG —Always the chameleons, Holy Void have journeyed into hypnotic, experimental depths over the years, much like their psychedelic/shoegaze-leaning origins.
But the Holy Void of two years ago is not what it was last year or even today. With their next, yet-to-be-titled album, expect Holy Void’s latest sonic incarnation to take the form of a rough-edged, no-frills garage band.
“Every album kind of has its own feel,” says guitarist Grant Trippel. “With our new record, we want to give it more of an old garage-rock sort of feel…In the past, when producing our records, there’s been lots of layering, lots of atmospheric overdubs, and we wanted to make this next record very honest, raw with a live-off-the-floor sound. We’re recording this thing entirely onto tape.”
The four-piece includes guitarists Trippel and Michael Henderson-Castle (both of instrumental surf-rock group The Catamounts), and bassist Danny Hacking and drummer Kyle Loewen (of the now defunct Surprise Party), with the later two also finding time to contribute to other burgeoning musical projects in Winnipeg, such as shoegaze supergroup Juniper Bush with Lizzy Burt (of Basic Nature), and stoner rock act TV Static.
“There’s a lot of cross-pollination going on,” says Trippel. “Our jam space is always usually active with some band rehearsing for a show.”
The band released their moody self-tilted EP in 2015, featuring a collection of melancholic, reverb-swathed tracks. Fast forward to 2016’s For Everything Else EP released via the Transistor 66 record label, and the band’s kaleidoscopic palette starts to come into greater focus.
Songs like “Matte Plastic” shed the doom and gloom for some psychedelia with an unusually jaunty vibe, while the eerie “Red River” harkens the darkness of earlier work. Creeping bass lines swirl around echoing guitar riffs and Henderson-Castle’s wobbly vocals. Given the immense—and often tragic—history of the murky waters (read: Drag the Red), the foreboding atmosphere seems worthy of the band’s self-styled “nightmare-pop” tag.
“We were in a bit of a transitional phase with the last EP,” says Trippel. “We don’t want to be dark all the time. We enjoy playing music of all styles.”
With all of the members of the band amalgamating their collective influences into the project, it’s easy to hear why they can’t settle on a singular sound. But that’s just part of the Holy Void journey.
With a few EPs under their belts and a debut full-length on the horizon, the band is ready to get in the van and hit the highway for a nine-date stint across Western Canada.
For those eager to hear Holy Void’s next effort, Trippel mentions that a new single will be out via their Bandcamp by the time they get out on the road.
Aside from crushing beers in a bathtub, and managing rotting fruit and fast-food debris in a hot van, Trippel says they’ve yet to experience anything too wild and crazy while on tour.
“We haven’t been robbed, we’ve managed to break even and even make a bit of cash,” says Trippel.
“Being with these guys it’s just always an adventure.”
Holy Void perform August 3 at Vangelis (Saskatoon), August 4 at Mill Creek Café and Catering (Edmonton), August 5 at the Palomino Smokehouse (Calgary), August 12 at the Astoria (Vancouver), and August 15 at the Slice (Lethbridge).