Corey Pressman is an artist after my own heart. He’s got obvious reverence for his favorite artists, and is writing original, goofy music for himself. I like that. His project Holy Ghost People is just now releasing its first album, a collection of 13 year-old lost recordings called Knots of May. Largely synthetic, yet full of warmth and life, the album is a real treat for any fan of industrial music from the ‘90s, or its forefathers, Depeche Mode, in the ‘80s.
Pressman introduces us to the sound of Holy Ghost People with the title track, a mellow, almost Mac DeMarco-like song with some absurd, David Bowie-esque vocals. The lyrics of the chorus are beautiful and thoughtful, an interesting contrast with the over-the-top and ridiculousness of Pressman’s vocal performance throughout the track (and album); I especially like the line “leave all our lives sleeping before we get home.” The outro to the song is especially interesting to me, weaving in what sounds like electric guitar (but could easily still be synth) to build the song to an uneasy and jangly end.
“Wishing Away” follows, and boy, this is when I knew that this experience was going to stay weird. The vocal performance is suitably odd and the instrumental is ethereal and remains interesting through its dynamic shifts, not to mention some fun, distorted guitar that snakes through the song, but the instrumental passage that begins halfway through the song is a beautiful and serene breather that still manages to retain the underlying tension present throughout the verses.
Ending the song with this instrumental passage, as opposed to a flashy guitar solo, shows maturity and attention to composition, further pulling me into Knots of May’s odd world. “Peach” and “Full of Us” are odd detours, even by this album’s standards. The latter track is a love song drenched in celesta keyboard, acoustic guitar, phaser and a saucy, synthetic saxophone solo, leading the listener out like the pied piper.
“Swan” takes its time building into a Violator-esque synth groove, and just when you think you know where it’s going, those distinct vocals kick right in, carrying in some relaxed keyboard and strings, and eventually what could either be a cello or a very low synthetic horn instrument (is it bad that it’s almost impossible to tell?), which results in a very cool synth solo fade-out.
The penultimate song is “Bring,” a rare guitar-led piece with some very beautiful keyboard layered in on top of it. It’s actually one of my favorite moments on the entire album; it’s beautiful and flows without a hitch. Finally, “Waiting” finishes the project with some cool organ and bass work, another interesting change of pace. The song builds to a beautiful, string-dominated finale, and… is this bizarre, haphazard album actually getting to me?
In the end, Pressman impresses in several ways: he is constantly switching up the sound of his songs, which are just the right length, so his music stays interesting long after the novelty of it has worn off, the instrumental pieces lying behind his voice are intricate and unique, and his voice is really in a league of its own in today’s musical landscape. My only recommendations are to obtain a better microphone (to allow those vocals to really sit with the instruments instead of on top of them), listen to Spirit Phone by Lemon Demon, and don’t be afraid to get even weirder, I’d love to hear it.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook