Holopaw

Quit +/or Fight (Sub Pop)

Holopaw's songs are a lot like the clouds on the cover of their newest album, Quit +/or Fight--beautiful, delicate and seemingly apt to float away at any time. Led by whisper-quiet singer John Orth, who also contributed to Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock's Ugly Casanova project, Holopaw specializes in bleary-eyed electro-folk, combining synthesizers and unusual percussion with more traditional folk instrumentation to create intricate songs perfect for an early Sunday morning. On Quit +/or Fight, the band stretches out further than their debut; they even rock out, if only a little, on "3-Shy-Cubs" and "Velveteen (All Is Bright)". Closer "Shiver Me" could be the prettiest pirate shanty ever written with the most beautiful utterance of the words "Yo ho ho" ever caught on tape. The album's most interesting track, "Found (Quit +/or Fight)," was created for Found(a magazine that reprints notes and flyers found in the trash) based on letters Orth uncovered in a Gainesville, Florida library, including a moving note from a former soldier who writes, "So I'm no longer the best of the best/ My shit smells like anybody else's/ So I'm no longer defending the USA/ No talents, skills, abilities." They may not be Orth's words, but he sings them with a grace that makes them all his own.

 
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