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Even before you press play on the latest effort from Holy Holy, it’s clear that there’s an overwhelming sense of optimism and positivity at play. After all, how else could you write and record an album at any point across the last 18 months and call it Hello My Beautiful World?

Despite the uncertainty of the world that we live in, both Tim Carroll and Oscar Dawson have managed to emerge from the shadows of a difficult year (and change) to deliver one of their most immersive records to date – a true indicator that positivity isn’t a lost cause in times like these.

Announcing the new album with a simple statement that began, “we made another record”, Holy Holy never once seemed to embrace flowery language in speaking about their record, instead choosing a far more simple approach to discussing things. The album itself though feels like the polar opposite, with luscious, spacious, and overwhelmingly-beautiful soundscapes enveloping the listener within mere moments.

Having given fans a taste of the record by way of “Port Road” back in December, this single seemed indicative of where the group were heading. Teaming up with Queen P, the hip-hop influence hinted that there was set to be something of a musical evolution at play. In truth, there was, with collaborations with CLEWS and the Presets’ Kim Moyes pushing their creations into new musical territory. Of course, there’s something ironic about an album made in lockdown featuring more collaborations, but that’s neither here or there.

At its core though, Hello My Beautiful World is a record seemingly created, whether intentionally or not, to feel like an escape. The way in which they allow tracks to flow on, to evolve, and to truly take form with the codas of “The Aftergone”, “I.C.U.”, and “So Tired” evokes memories of a concept album of sorts, breaking free of traditional song-by-song tracklisting, escaping its confines, and instead feeling like a grander art piece.

Likewise, the album’s title track feels like a list of things to be thankful for, delivered in an almost dreamlike fashion that dwells on the much-missed details of life that we so yearn for in today’s current climate.

Expansive, cinematic, rhythmic, and truly immersive, Holy Holy at no point show any signs of a global pandemic having hindered their creative process on Hello My Beautiful World (after all, members living in different states means all their records have been iso albums, in a sense), and instead provide a mesmerising escape from the drudgery of modern life, while focusing on the beautiful moments that we’ve missed.

Tyler Jenke

Rolling Stone