The mysteries behind many band names often stay unsolved for years, if they are ever found out at all, but Holiday Shores frontman Nathan Pemberton isn't shy about revealing the inspiration behind the title. The five-piece band's namesake is Holiday Shores Ct., the beachfront street in Florida where Pemberton spent his childhood. The sun and surf must have permeated deep into Nathan's psyche as his band's debut, Columbus'd The Whim, is a charming and summery set of noisy pop tunes that fit well into the current noise explosion taking over the indie scene. The boys combine a youthful energy with a remarkably mature ability to create subtle pop hooks and I, for one, find the group's new album to be refreshing and especially accomplished even among those records by some of their more spotlighted peers.
The magic of Columbus'd The Whim doesn't reveal itself all at once, but rather in layers and after a listen or two. That's not to say the music is unappealing at first glance or difficult to enjoy, but the mix of hazy guitars, sharp percussion and washed out vocals takes a more concrete shape once you've familiarized yourself with the songs bit. When it starts to sink in, the music becomes somewhat addicting as there seems to be more in the group's noisy compositions to love each time around. First single "Phone's Don't Feud" (download via The Fader below) is a great place to start, a brief, psychedelically-tinged tune that borrows some bits and pieces from several indie greats (Grizzly Bear's harmonies, Animal Collective's watery production, etc.) but doesn't really sound like anything else out there. Also available below (through Pitchfork) is the album's second single, "Edge Of Our Lives," a more upbeat track with messy guitars and a driving, almost Afro-pop rhythm. If you like those two, you'll likely enjoy the rest of the album as it follows a fairly similar pattern, though there's enough variety to keep the momentum going and the listener's interest level high throughout.
I've made it known before that I'm still not in love with noise pop, but Holiday Shores is another of those bands wearing down my resistance with music too good to ignore. Give them a listen on MySpace or track down the songs I mentioned earlier with the links provided. One way or another, make sure you get familiar with Columbus'd The Whim.
Phone's Don't Feud (MP3 via The Fader)
Edge Of Our Lives (MP3 via Pitchfork)