Holy Louis: "The Divine Arrow"
HOLY LOUIS is a singer and multi-instrumentalist based in the south of France. He’s better known (for now) as the male voice of the (very cool) indie slow rock band, BUDAPEST. In 2019, he founded his own label, Slow Down People Records, to develop and promote slow, deep music, being convinced by the emotional and imaginative power of slowness in art.
When he started his first solo productions, he let himself dream of being a “true” character, melting and melding his real life and his deeply held personal beliefs into an invented personality. A personality who would appear in public and build a dystopian reality around himself. (Perhaps, under his hat, Bowie won’t ever be dead to him…)
Who does he become through that mutation? Some kind of a mystic Dandy? A romantic poet recently landed on the shores of the new world hailing from old Europe? Mostly dressed in a suit jacket and a hat, elegant yet simple, bordering on the austere. His way of looking at this new world full of promise and danger is curious and at times childlike. But there is also a deep seated desire, like Martin Eden, to make his dreams come true. He takes risks, multiplies encounters and even supernatural experiences.
More than just a character out of a novel, he knows that the "daily bloody bread" (sic) has to be earned for real. And beyond that, he knows there are souls to reach out to with poetry, music and art. So Louis has to go on the road, hitchhike if need be, with his Sigma Guitar, an old Tascam tape recorder and a backpack. What's more important than sharing love and beauty? In the mornings, he plays on the markets where every day people build alternatives to ugliness and TV shows. At night, he plays in clubs and bars if his hat and belly can be filled.
Earlier in his life he’d got himself a beloved family, and an inherited old-fashioned idea that a respectable career has to be held on to, as some people do believe. But his heart is too heavy to ignore Nick Drake's Riverman or Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters To A Young Poet. Like his pockets, the office will remain empty, but not his mind.
Ten years ago, when a fire devastated what materialism had collected in his life, he flipped, began spending all his time on art and creation. Embarking upon a long path strewn with unavoidable failures and forbidden loves—a long path where he would find true and powerful stories.
PHILTERS, (e.p.) “Philters” opens with “The Divine Arrow”, a track that’s something of a UFO as far as the rest of the record goes. It could sound like Gospel or a prayer praising LOVE. Stylistically it borrows something from the flourishing pop hedonism of the “Swinging Sixties". Rooted, it would seem, in the nostalgic memories of this poet (Holy Louis himself) still on a new road, journeying through a new land. Like an adventurer, he then plunges wholeheartedly into the world of Folk Americana (Wild Ghost Birth Note) creating a counterpoint to his origins, it can be a bit off the wall as he draws on the spirit of old time crooners, or even hippie choirs, “for inspiration” (sic). Reverb creates wide open spaces through which postcards travel and carry news like extracts from the notebook patiently nurtured by this man adrift. We meet declarations of love (Our Love's Embrace), colourful sound poems repatriated from lost paradises (Intra Mantra), farewell letters and the torn up pages of shattered intimacy (Mocking Blue Sky).
“Philters” is nothing less than the tale of a curse, an enchantment. An Ode to the drunkenness of the days to come in the life of one who drifts without bonds to bind him. Entirely recorded and produced by this lonely man, between January and August 2019.
“The Divine Arrow”
The story of someone (some kind of Don Juan), who had stopped believing in romantic love, being slapped in the face by the realization that he has fallen into, been bewitched by, a pair of beautiful eyes. The terror he feels at the enormity of his feelings knocks him for six, calling into question the solidity of the house of cards he has built for himself with bricks of superficiality, solitude and seduction.
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