Comprised of Leslie Schott and Andrew Valenti, the acclaimed indie duo Holy Golden can trace their origins to a serendipitous meeting on Martha’s Vineyard — during a lunar eclipse. As the story goes, Schott decided to take a ferry to the island and happened upon the record store where Valenti was working at the time. After chatting a bit, Valenti wrote down his band’s email address on a business card, gave it to Schott, suggesting that she should come to a show that night. Schott purchased a few CDs and left, assuming that she’d probably never see Valenti again, but as the ferry back to the mainland was about to depart, she ran off the boat and found the show. Since then, Schott and Valenti have traveled back and forth between Martha’s Vineyard and Los Angeles, where they’re currently based, creating mythological, multi-media based mini-worlds through music, music videos, short films and photography. Sonically speaking, the duo have developed a reputation for a sound that blends dream pop and 90s alt rock — while being inspired by their deepest sorrows and brightest fantasies, Maya Deren, David Lynch, Edward Gorey, and the lonely terrain of gilded Americana.
Wallflower Records’ founder Corey Savage signed the duo after catching them play in Houston during their first tour, and the label released their critically applauded full-length debut Wax Castle, an album that was written and recorded in various locations across the country. Building upon a growing profile, The Licking River EP was recorded, produced and mixed at Providence, RI-based Machines With Magnets Studio, and the EP was named by a number of blogs across the blogosphere as one of the top indie EPs of 2017. The duo’s sophomore album, the Steve Rizzo-produced Otherworld was a concept album inspired by a recurring childhood daydream of Schott’s — and it was recorded in a historic ballroom in Newport, RI. Interestingly, the duo frequently record while traveling and as a result, their work is affected by the rapidly changing landscapes, as well as the changing external and internal environment; in fact, they’ve had stints in Los Angeles, Detroit, Rhode Island and Cape Cod.
Released earlier this year, the duo’s Sleepwalkers in the Milky Way EP will further cement their growing reputation for crafting atmospheric and cinematic dream pop — and while the band’s sound has been described as if Dolly Parton were backed by The xx, their latest single “Seven of Diamonds” to my ears, sounds as though it were influenced by the now-defunct Denver-based act Ending People and the classic 4AD Records heyday roster. In other words you’ll hear an arrangement of shimmering and angular guitar chords, dramatic drumming, a sinuous bass line and a soaring hook paired with Schott’s ethereal and plaintive vocals.
Directed by Beatrice Pegard, the recently released video for “Seven of Diamonds” is a fever dream that seems influenced by Roger Corman’s Edgar Allen Poe films and the work Dario Argento among others — and as result, it has a palpably tense and uneasy creepiness.