With a name alphabetically filed between Hot Chip and Holy Fuck, a single called “Hold On,” a DFA label association and time spent providing live support to LCD Soundsystem and The Juan Maclean, Holy Ghost! give some pretty clear insight into their artistic personality on incidentals alone. Based on that information, it should be abundantly clear that the New York duo of Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser get their kicks in fluid basslines, handclaps, conga and slithering, sexy disco beats. Holy Ghost! is a DFA band alright, and their EP Static On the Wire stands as yet another stellar debut for the influential and highly acclaimed New York label.
In contrast to James Murphy’s punk and glam-inspired anthems or Mclean’s analog robotica, Holy Ghost!’s brand of infectious dance pop is pure smoothness through and through. The EP’s title track pulses with a silken heartbeat, ’80s synthesizers flashing softly throughout, while bass and clavinet maintain a deep funk beneath the duo’s sexy, ethereal pillow talk vocals. The darker “Say My Name” (not a Destiny’s Child cover) retains that seductive cool, but with a more sinister undercurrent, carrying more post-punk edge along with its Italo-disco flash. Frankel and Millhiser crank up the energy for the anthemic and fabulous “I Will Come Back,” while the fourth and final track, “I Know I Hear,” bolsters their flamboyant disco throb with a heavy dose of diva backing vocals and a bridge chant that’s guaranteed to stick in the listener’s head for days.
While four songs is, to some degree, just a teaser of sorts and an introduction to the satin funk of Holy Ghost!, the medium leaves no room for filler. Each hot, sweaty song is jam-packed with hooks and grooves, which is essentially everything you’d want from a DFA associated act. Pardon my double entendre, but this is a party in a 12-inch package.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.