Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups

Sixth long-player's pastoral urban schmear soundtracks millennial Austin

Summertime ... and the livin' is languid: steamy, dreamy, synthy. Five of Cups washes away the sweat, because Holy Wave continues to bottle ATX-brand sunblock. Sixth long-player of the last decade, the new tarot card denotes dejection, yet the quartet's innate buoyancy bleaches away any emotion other than unadulterated bliss. Previous pool party Interloper, a summer 2020 drop also through Seattle imprint Suicide Squeeze, pulsed key-slathered psych pop, while Adult Fear two years earlier pointed the way. Smoother and smoother, Holy Wave continues burning off any vestigial Velvet Underground from 2013 bow Evil Hits and follow-up Relax. Leading with the title track defines an LP, more often than not, as an unambiguous statement of purpose. "Five of Cups" shimmers keyboards punctuated by flares of classic rock. Hill Country just minutes outside of Downtown, its pastoral urban schmear soundtracks millennial Austin. A Floydian buzz crisps "Chaparral" atop a Gilmourian sentiment: "Make the time, take the time, break the time/ Visit our youth." At precisely "Path of Least Resistance," whatever you took kicks in and the head buzz becomes a full-body high: vibes and a heartbeat tempo feeding swirling keys. All spring, "Hypervigilance" strums and shuffles a helium bleat, flashing a radio beacon and fan converter. Mic slaying on "The Darkest Timeline," Lorena Quintanilla of Guadalajara's Lorelle Meets the Obsolete crushes the audition with a come-hither naturalism wafting breezelike over a musical matte that buzzes digital cicadas. Summer loving, Holy Wave had a blast. Summer loving, Five of Cups trips to last.

Holy Wave

Five of Cups (Suicide Squeeze)

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