James Mellen
James Mellen

Bristol-based writer, specialising in musings on the world of music and fashion.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Brighton-based, Falmouth-bred rockers Holiday Ghosts have delivered their fourth studio record, coming nearly two years after their last effort ‘North Street Air’. This new LP is ‘Absolute Reality’, an infectiously enjoyable collection of jangly garage rock cuts and a quick return to releasing following last year’s extended play ‘Credit Note’, a ten-minute blast of surfy indie rock. Now, their fourth LP sees Holiday Ghosts sticking to their guns, but the formula they work with is still a joyous one. 

‘Vulture’, the lead single for this record, set an impressive precedent, a driving yet understated slice of New York-tinted indie punk. Flavours of new wave blossom throughout ‘Absolute Reality’ but it always retains a unique edge; influences are worn on the sleeve for sure, but the record still remains quintessentially Holiday Ghosts.

Opener ‘Rocket’ has an almost adolescent quality, with jangle-pop aesthetics met head on with a childlike topline. The quartet blurs lines between garage rock, surf and lo-fi, an impeccable mixture culminating in truly one of the most delightful indie releases of 2023 so far.

The DIY aesthetics that surrounds the record give a nostalgic and youthful feel with this band feeling like friends jamming in a basement. Each member demonstrates their different influences – from Dick Dale to The Strokes to Skegss and everything in between.

Though ‘Absolute Reality’ doesn’t take too many strides forward, or takes many sonic risks, the outcome is still a great record, regardless of the band sticking to only what they know. Despite the abundance of guitar bands circulating the scene right now, Holiday Ghosts easily carve a lane to call their own. And that’s what makes this record so much fun.

Listen to ‘Absolute Reality’ here: