On the Radar – No 222: Holy Esque

Holy Esque
Holy Esque
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Sometimes the element of mystery is a more potent kind of draw than blanket coverage, and while Holy Esque don’t claim to be secretive, they clearly understand that it’s the music that matters most.

The Glasgow four-piece turned heads last year with their debut EP, which was produced by Kevin Burleigh, who has worked with the likes of Glasvegas and Simple Minds. Then came offers to support first Wu Lyf and later The Raveonettes on their European tour.

But 2013 is shaping up to be an even better year for Holy Esque, having been invited to perform at the SXSW industry conference in Texas, and their new single St. (released on March 25) already attracting adoring tributes across the web.

Their appeal has a lot to do with singer Pat Hynes‘ quivering, pained vocals, but that distinctive feature is wedded to their soaring, vaulted squalls of guitar and heavy, rumbling drums. It’s a style that, along with their cryptic, quasi-religious artwork, conjures up themes of devotion and doubt.

Ahead of their SXSW fundraiser at Broadcast in Glasgow tonight, we asked Holy Esque about their plans for the year ahead…

2012 was the year you broke through. What were the highlights for you as a band?

It’s difficult to pinpoint exact moments because we hold a lot of great memories from 2012. Possibly playing to a capacity crowd in Estonia or touring with The Raveonettes, there’s several highlights.

You’ve talked before about not wanting to feel part of the Glasgow music ‘clique’. But do you feel your music owes anything to where you grew up?

As people we’re influenced by everything around us, that’s only natural, so the place where we’ve grown up, this city, definitely has had an impact on what we’ve created as a band.

You’ve been recording new material with Kevin Burleigh again. What does he bring to your sound?

Kevin shares a strong understanding of what we’re trying to create and achieve. When recording, he directs our every move, helping to form that sound that we want.

There’s a new single coming soon. Can we expect any more releases this year?

I can’t say what will happen but if its up to me then there will definitely be more to come this year.

Has there been any movement with a label? Is that a priority for you?

Our next rehearsal or show is priority for us, as far as labels are concerned we will have to wait and see.

You’re going to SXSW soon. What are you hoping to get out of the experience?

The experience of playing in America should be rewarding enough but things like exposure to industry figures from international backgrounds and playing to a new, wider audience are things that we’d like to achieve.

And you’re playing a SXSW fundraiser in Glasgow. What can fans expect at this show?

Just like the last time but better.

• Holy Esque play Broadcast, Glasgow tonight (Friday), 8.30pm, £5. Listen to St. and the Holy Esque EP in full on their SoundCloud page: http://soundcloud.com/holyesque