INTERVIEW: Holy Braille | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Callum Hays

Your writer is currently finishing up a final draft of this piece on Wednesday 22nd May: or as it may be better known to some, World Goth Day. Now to some this may be just the kind of happy coincidence that comes with playing piss-takingly fast and loose with your deadlines (a writer being late? Would never happen…), but for a piece on the darkwave duo Holy Braille, it feels like a (dark) star of some kind aligning.

Formed by Steph Mac (also of glam rockers PussyWillowFurryVenus) and Elliot Reeves (no stranger to dark electronica with Mausoleums and Indigo Vertebrae), Holy Braille’s sound is an incessant, turned-up-to-eleven take on synth pop, one that offers a nod of the head to its progenitors but also ploughs a determinedly contemporary soundscape.

“We initially started this project just to see what would happen, what merging our individual styles would sound like, “ Mac explains. “Originally, we thought there would be a difference, both liking and listening to different music, in some cases music we had never heard of. We just knew we wanted to do something dark and electronic.”

Describing their working process, Mac notes the importance of keeping things homespun and centred around their strength as a writing duo. “We both compose the music, the belly of Holy. Steph is the lyricist, maker of melodies. Elliot is the technical beast, mixing, making everything fit, sound good. It’s all done in our DIY home studio, it’s a combination of recording vocals and music as we go, then adding harmonies and dirty undertones electronically: the devil is in the detail.”

we can guarantee you dark noise and a truly electronic experience, with the possible side-effect of being freaked out!

Both halves of Holy Braille note the importance of having a project that functions differently to their other bands. “I have more creative freedom in this band, and I feel like projects before [this] were practice, a lead up to this,” claims Reeves – Mac is clear that the motivation behind this project is less about reacting to or being inspired by other acts but instead focused on their own impulses and chemistry. “We often joke about who’s Holy and who’s Braille. It’s unimportant to us whether we stand out, it’s rather selfish really as we enjoy it so much. The fact that we do come across as distinct is a pleasant surprise as half the time when we are on stage, we are individually in our own world.”

Although the duo had issued the Dog Dias single soon after forming in 2017, their latest single Murder She Spoke (released via Kaneda Records on Friday 31st May) is a far more strident representation of Holy Braille’s ambitions. Accompanying it is a minimalist, aggressive music video, of which Mac states, “we wanted the video to be lo-fi, to be simple and stark. Biblical imagery on a blank canvas, black on white, right and wrong.”

To celebrate the single’s release, the band headline a Kaneda Records night at The Globe on Saturday 1st June, with sterling support from Badger, Waskerley Way and Faithful Johannes. In Mac’s words, “we can guarantee you dark noise and a truly electronic experience, with the possible side-effect of being freaked out!


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