Mar 12 2007

Sub Pop Week: Holopaw

Published by at 11:47 pm under MP3's


Did you know Isaac Brock, lead singer of Modest Mouse and Ugly Casanova, worked for Sub Pop as a scout? Yep, he introduced Sub Pop to some great acts, including The Shins, Iron and Wine, Wolf Parade, and Holopaw. It’s a real shame Holopaw’s name hasn’t gotten more out there, because they are worth everyone’s listen. In my opinion, their 2003 release is better than their 2005 release, Quit +/ Or Fight.

Both albums have a sound that is similar to that of Brock’s side project band, Ugly Casanova. This similarity is present because Holopaw’s lead singer, John Orth, was a co-writer for Ugly Casanova’s album “Sharpen Your Teeth.” Orth didn’t adopt Brock’s sound, but quite to the contrary, Brock’s side project sound was greatly influenced by Orth. Also, Brian Deck produced both albums. One of the main differences you will hear is Orth on vocals, instead of Brock. I really enjoy his vocals–his vibrating, fading in and out voice somewhat resembles the Mountain Goats (on the self-titled album, at least. I don’t like the vocals as much on some songs on Quit+/or Fight) Take a listen, see what you think–from the bands site, it sounds like they are currently working on a new album. Also, a little about the band’s history, and their interesting story:

Holopaw is John Orth, Michael Johnson, Jeff Hays, Tobi Echevarria, and Ryan Gensemer. Just days ago the band announced the addition of bassist Jeff McMullen. Holopaw got their name from the town Holopaw, Florida, even though none of them are from there. They are actually from Gainesville, FL. The band didn’t play much out, and it was never in their head to get signed–they just played for fun. Things turned around, when oddly enough Isaac Brock moved to their town, dating a local girl he met on tour. The band happened to be playing a gig with some other bands, and Brock heard their stuff. He really liked what they were doing, and that’s when he invited Orth to help him with Ugly Casanova. By that time, Brock had moved back to the Northwest, but he flew Orth out several times, and Isaac wanted to start a label and sign Orth to it. After realizing he wasn’t going to start the label yet, Brock passed Holopaw on to Sub Pop.

“There are bands that are making music and bands that are making art. Holopaw is making art.” –Sub Pop’s Jonathan Poneman.”

Self-Titled (2003):

Holopaw – Hoover
Holopaw -Igloo Glass

Quit +/ Or Fight (2005)

Holopaw – Losing Light

Holopaw – 3-Shy-Cubs

Site|Myspace|Sub Pop(buy)

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Sub Pop Week: Holopaw”

  1. Jadon 13 Mar 2007 at 12:17 am

    Funny, I’ve never heard of these guys. Thanks for the heads up, the 2003 tracks are actually quite good. I see what you mean about the 2005 songs being good, but not quite as good.



  2. Konradon 13 Mar 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I knew that Brock helped bring Wolf Parade to Sub Pop, but I didnt know he was a scout or any of the other details. Very interesting.
    Ugly Casanova is a great band for a variety of reasons, but not the least of which is the incredible talent that went into that project. Tim Rutili of Califone is also in Ugly Casanova. For people who enjoy Modest Mouse, Ugly Casanova, and now Holopaw….check out Califone as well.

    I have really enjoyed Holopaw since being turned on to them post Ugly Casanova. My favorite song by them is Abraham Lincoln…closely followed by Cinders….but the songs you posted are all great as well. Awesome post.

  3. Davidon 14 Mar 2007 at 12:11 am

    Thanks for the comment, Jad. Glad you like em!

    Konrad, Abraham Lincoln is also one of my favorites. I was contemplating whether to put it up. Also, thanks for recommending Califone to people–I just saw them open for Wilco a few months ago:)

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