JUNO and Polaris Music Prize-nominated Holy Fuck return today with new single, “Luxe“, the seminal Canadian group’s first new music in three years.
Born out of a desire to revisit old and trusted methods of creating Holy Fuck songs; by experimenting live on stage to create new music, Luxe is an epic, sprawling beast of a song that started life as a spontaneous jam session as the encore at a Luxembourg show. Once the early elements of the track had been worked on in the studio, they sent it to their good friend and casual musical mentor, Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, (amongst a bunch of other demos), who picked up on this track instantly as being a stand out. With the songs’ many layers of information and frenetic rhythms the band then figured it would work brilliantly with vocals from Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip. Thankfully, Alexis loved the concept and the song as much the others and jumped at the chance.
Save/stream Luxe here.
Holy Fuck have always been happy to plow a distinctly lone furrow. Never ones to chase the limelight or hop on any genre-wagon that happens to be passing by, they’ve played by their own rules for the past part of 15 years and five albums. It’s for that reason that Holy Fuck have become one of their country’s finest, and most influential, exports, with their widescreen, technicolour, crescendo-heavy and highly danceable sound often finding itself imitated, but never bettered. It’s a point proved (with a bang) on Luxe, which the band fully introduce as follows:
“Among more literal translations, Luxe is the short form of Luxembourg – the city in which the nexus of the song was created. During our European tour supporting our ‘Bird Brains’ EP, we discussed how the band had drifted away from doing more experimentation on stage, how we missed creating something new, from scratch, in front of an audience. On this particular night during soundcheck we had a pulsing minimal synth loop we’d been tinkering around with (we were listening to lots of TRAX Records stuff on that tour). We decided if we got an encore we’d go for it. ‘Luxe’ was the result, or at least the MP3 we had recorded at the sound board, then called ‘Luxembourg Encore’, was the result.
Once home from tour we took the demo back to the drawing board and made a proper song from its initial form and idea. However, before we got that far, somewhere around checking out of the first studio, while still referencing our ever growing folder of sound check ideas, we shared everything with our friend Kieran Hedben AKA Four Tet. His always-intuitive advice was to ‘push away’ from some of the ‘very indie rock sounds’ and that his ‘favourite thing here is Luxembourg Encore… There are so many cool moments… It could be a good club track.’
The next moment of discovery came when Graham suggested the band scrap Brian’s vocals and to give it to Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip. When we presented Alexis with the concept, our reference notes to him, based around Brian’s temporary vocals, were ‘like an old sample you’d dig up off an old folk record… and approached more like a classic house track’. He responded, ‘we could try to record the vocal in a Voice O Graph booth (an obsolete 1940s coin operated phonograph booth) if we can access one…’. As far as we’re aware, there are only 2 in the world – one in Liverpool (that apparently doesn’t work anymore) and the other in Third Man studio in Nashville, where he sang ‘I’d like to scrap all of this and start over again.’ Fittingly it was New Year’s Eve.
Thankfully all these steps never veered from the original path set out on stage in Luxembourg. Everyone’s commitment to the song, everyone’s input, proved the importance of a collaborative process and reinforced the notion that good things come from daring experimentation.”
As the band continue their extensive North American tour with Hot Chip this month, they are pleased to confirmed details of their own intimate UK & European headline shows at the end of October. See below for full dates.
September 13 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
September 14 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
September 17 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
September 18 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
September 19 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
September 20 – Portland, PR – Roseland Theatre
September 24 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
September 25 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre
September 27 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Expo Hall
October 19 – _Cardiff, UK – Swn Festival Cardiff
October 20 – Berlin, DE – Maschinehaus
October 21 – Amsterdam, NL – _Paradiso
October 22 – _Paris, FR – _Espace B
October 23 – London, UK – Moth Club
October 24 – Manchester, UK – YES