Band Of Holy Joy - Fated Beautiful Mistakes [LP]
Catalogue No.: PICI0048LP
Release Date: 02 Jun 2023
Early Band Of Holy Joy existed somewhere on the cut-up side of proto-industrial music, resting between Marc Stewart & Maffia, Sonic Youth, and Current 93, and proponents of a more romantic musical language - Virginia Astley, Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins among them - all artists whose work BPHJ's music sat comfortably alongside across on a stream of low-budget vinyl and cassette compilations after the start of the eighties. A great leap in polish led to a deal with Rough Trade and several early '90s albums which flirted with the mainstream, with BOHJ almost an odder, less obvious cousin to Dexys Midnight Runners. When these releases failed to take off as hoped, lost years followed on smaller labels and self-released projects, until the renewed urgency of the 2016 Brutalism Begins At Home EP and increasingly majestic albums on which saw leader Johny Brown's lyricism enter a new phase. The common thread through BOHJ's four decades of recordings is the foundational warmth and humanity of Brown's words. The band's earliest recordings seemed garnered from street-level observations of neighbourhood people and sights. By the time of near-hit "Tactless", their songs - whatever the underlying impulses may have been - had become immediate enough to overcome the mystery of a line like "Do you remember the swan that was shot in the park?" Over each of their last three albums - Funambulist We Love You, Neon Primitives and Dreams Take Flight - BOHJ has bettered itself, and may now have reached their apex, Fated Beautiful Mistakes. We live in a time of generally justifiable gloom and awkward uncertainty. So it may appear cavalier to claim this album sounds revelatory in that context, but Band Of Holy Joy's strengths rest largely in Johny Brown and the band's ability to capture a wider societal feeling. One listen to the escapist fantasy of "Our Flighty Season Under The Flighty Sun" and its slightly-haunted ending speaks volumes beyond most of what passes for music in 2023, and it's just one of many perfect moments on this album.
Tracks: Lighthouse Keeper / New York Romantic / A Citadel Of Crooked Soul / Mersey Ferry On The River Thames / Our Flighty Season Inn The Dirty Sun / Circus Folk / City People / Instagram Moon / The Curve Of The Bay / The Full Bloom Of Roses / Babylon Farewell
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