Holy Sons

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Released 22nd September via

Thrill Jockey Records

Very often in music, we forget how incredibly powerful space can be. There are some albums where each song is full of music and noise and, sometimes, those albums turn out absolutely wonderful. But there are albums with so much space to move around to let you shape what you are listening to. When these albums appear, they illuminate. This is the case of Grails' Emil Amos and The Fact Facer, his new album that will be released next September through his solo project Holy Sons.

Listening to the music that Emil is able to create I came to the conclusion that this man is a genius. He drums for Portland's Grails, for OM and with Holy Sons he is responsible for every instrument and every word: he plays and sings in an absolutely fantastic way. He simply gets under your skin.

Good records require time before revealing their secret and The Fact Facer is exactly one of those albums that give you something new each time you listen to it. Again his music appears simple, with plucked guitar, hushed organ and a voice that we can definitely consider the main instrument; a careful listen though will bring to light the several elements and the texture that make the Holy Sons's music complex and refined. The way the sounds are blended together is pretty unique and each track is different and has its own character. Variety is for sure one of the key words that describe The Fact Facer.

The Fact Facer is a set of eleven songs that in about 35 minutes will make you experience an engaging and enjoyable journey. Main tags of this record are passion, that is the passion the artist expresses in each single note, and warm because the warmth coming from his brilliant and sensual voice is really moving. The Fact Facer is so brilliantly crafted that seems that Emil Amos has fallen in love with all of the possibilities offered by blending instrumental textures like paint on a canvas.

Standout tracks like the opening 'Doomed Myself', the sensual 'Selfish Thoughts' that is actually my bedtime soundtrack and 'Wax Gets in Your Eyes' are all different and so damn good that they alone are a reason to grab a copy of The Fact Facer.

In a bit more than four minutes the opener 'Doomed Myself' has in it an alternation between space and guitar chords that creates an unbelievable atmosphere. The vocals themselves seem suspended. This is the space I was talking about. This is the space that let you interact with what is happening. The sound changes completely with the following 'Line Me Back Up' that reminds me the style of Swans.

Few songs have on me the same effect that 'Selfish Thoughts' has. It's a dark blanket that wrap you and doesn't let you go. If you close your eyes the experience is total. The voice of Emil arrives directly under your skin and the effect lasts even when the song dissolves into the sweet lullaby that brings the name of 'All Too Free'. 'All Too Free' it lures you in and soon you realize you cant get away. The atmosphere intensifies with 'Wax Gets in Your Eyes' that makes me think of a walk in a foggy night with his notes vibrating everywhere. It has several levels and according to the one you focus on you'll discover a different sound. It's a masterpiece.

I appreciate the intimacy and immediacy of 'Long Days' where the artist displays his talent mixing several sounds and creating again a song that is really unique. Dulcis in fundo is the the title track 'The Fact Facer' that with its plucked guitar accompanying the voice of Emil is beauty in plainness. It fools you.

With the new record the eclectic Emil Amos doesn't loose the occasion to prove his talent and strikes again delivering not simply a set of good songs but a sensorial experience. The Fact Facer is an album that shapes, seduces and, most importantly, evokes an emotional response.

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