Holy Balm
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Holy Balm


Band EDM Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dusted - Still Single Volume 7, Number 6 - May 2011 - Holy Balm"

Holy Balm
“Hand Over Fire” b/w “Strange Water” 7”
(Hustle Muscle)

Australian kids run with the general blueprint laid down by homeland duo Fabulous Diamonds, but take things further out on a trippy, dazed, house music-oriented tangent. Unlike Fab D, whose dance inclinations I’ve seen take shape only in the live setting, Holy Balm puts it all out front, proudly brandishing a drum computer and wobbly, dueling synth phrasing beneath vocals which bob across the surface, four paths of hot confusion resolved beneath the 4/4 kick. Stunning, and I wish it were a 12” so these songs could really let themselves loose. Your new dancefloor weapon is somehow still in print. (http://hustlemuscle.bigcartel.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

- Dusted Magazine USA

"Vice - We Saw This: Holy Balm"

Usually when a band from Sydney plays Melbourne no one really cares, unless it’s Circle Pit. Or, it turns out, Holy Balm. For an icy evening an impressive bunch of people turned up to see these guys at the Liberty Social. In the city. Since Holy Balm make weirdo dance music, I deduced that people felt like dancing. It was also the launch of their first album, It’s You, so maybe that had something to do with it - Vice Magazine

"Impose Magazine - Holy Balm, "Holy Balm Theme" Video by Angela Bermuda"

Holy Balm, "Holy Balm Theme" Video by Angela Bermuda

We definitely got mad love for any band that creates its own theme song, and Holy Balm's mix-up of no-wave funk apparently neccessitated that kind of reaction. "Holy Balm Theme" is not exactly the 1984-based beam of confidence and swagger; instead the refrain of "I don't know what to say/I don't know what to say to you" and the awkward dancer with her bra strap hanging down give the theme a charming lack of confidence. The animations are vague Garouste and Bonetti shapes waving through the air, in the open spaces around the dancers (the band), who float around in space, going through their social motions to their own personal soundtrack. - Impose Magazine

"Chicago Reader - 12 O'Clock track - Holy Balm Take it"

Chicago Reader - Chicago USA
15 June 2012
12 O’Clock Track/ Holy Balm, “Take It” by Luca Cimarusti

"Take It" is a cold, dreamy electronic jam whose tempo falls somewhere between plodding and dancey. It plays out kind of like an awkward, herky-jerky version of a classic New Order number. Holy Balm are a far cry from their guitar-heavy scenemates, but their drum machines and synths communicate the same sort of freshness and attitude that makes all those Aussie bands so great.
Not Not Fun Records is handling the North American distribution for It's You.

http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/06/14/12-oclock-track-holy-balm-take-it - Chicago Reader

"4ZZZ - Holy Balm - It's You - Sydney's Holy Balm reach new cosmic highs."

Sydney's Holy Balm reach new cosmic highs.

'It's You' begins with a conscious nod to the past, a cover of the Y-Pants no wave classic 'Favourite Sweater', originally released in 1980. Opening your debut album with a cover might seem like a terrible idea, and I would speculate that in most cases it would be, but with Holy Balm the choice seems oddly fitting. Holy Balm's approach to music making proudly harkens back to the 80s, that glittery decade of excess where synthesizers ruled the earth and to live meant to party. This is not a retro revival album though, this record is firmly planted in 2012. Whereas the earlier releases of this Sydney 3-piece were joyfully loose experiments in noisy electronica, 'It's You' shows a band that has evolved considerably over the last 2 years. In the process Holy Balm has created an incredibly modern and intelligent avant-dance pop album.

'Losing Control' is a fascinating, surreal highlight - analogue synths and percussion pulsate with an organic hypnotism not of this world. Emma Ramsay's vocals are self assured yet distant and detached, adding considerable weight to the enigmatic effect this band creates. Holy Balm are at their most thrilling during longer tracks such as 'One & Only' and 'Phone Song', where after fairly conventional beginnings the band expand outwards into the pure psychedelic dance territory that they do so well. My only complaint would be that these moments don't last even longer.

All 7 songs on display here are hits, each one with the potential to pick you up out of the gutter and blast you to the outer reaches of cosmic bliss. If you're looking for a way to briefly zone out of the harsh trappings of reality then I highly recommend this home grown slab of sonic escapism. A joint release from Sydney's RIP Society and Los Angeles' Not Not Fun Records. - 4ZZZ.org.au

"Dazed Digital - RISE: Holy Balm Exclusive Track"

Text by Owen Myers

Not Not Fun's newest recruits are Sydney-based Holy Balm, a trio as serious about their party-ready No Wave jams as they are their DIY ethic. On their freshly-released debut LP 'It's You', they combine the clattery post-disco of bands like Y Pants with Chicago house beats and Emma's luxe, sensual vocals. It would sound brilliant in a warehouse at 2am. The 'Holy Balm Theme' video is their mission statement in neon, where they float among Fresh Prince graphics like 'Groove Is In The Heart' directed by MC Escher.

Today the band exclusively premiere the one of their album highlights 'Phone Song' on Dazed Digital. In the grand scheme of Songs About Phones it's less 'Call Me Maybe' than Yazz's 'Bad Connection', but don't let that put you off. They also answer our quickfire questions below.


…The story behind your band name?
Jonathan: I was jamming solo on my keyboards in my room in ’06, and Emma and Anna came in and said "hey Yoni, will you join our band? It’s called Holy Balm." I didn’t question the name, but it had a ring to it. I think of it as a snake oil merchant, but Emma says it’s a soothing balm.

…What movie would you love to soundtrack?
Emma: A comprehensive Leigh Bowery biopic.

…the Sydney music scene like? Any local bands to recommend?
Jonathan: The scene here is pretty scattered at the moment. Lots of venues are struggling, and the warehouses are getting heat from the council. There's some really great music though, and I think people’s art and music gets more idiosyncratic and interesting in response to that difficulty.
Emma: I'm loving Love Chants, Warm Feelings, Whores, Half High (a new project from Naked On The Vague folk). Model Citizen are doing an album that will one of those 'soundtrack to your life' LPs.

…The most important song in the world to you?
Jonathan: 'Kiss Me Again' by Dinosaur.
Emma: 'Like A Prayer' by Madonna for nostalgic reasons, and 'Pretty Woman' by Roy Orbison because my brother sings it to me all of the time. Not in a gross way.
Anna: Something by Talking Heads I guess. They were my favourite band when I was little and they got me thinking all around what music can be.

…Your fashion icon?
Emma: All those birds from the Advanced Style blog.

…Your favourite type of candy?
Emma: No candy… just Whittaker's Coconut Slab for me please.?Anna: Ritter Sport.
Emma: Yeah, Hazelnut is the best.
Anna: I rate Olympia and Cornflake varieties.

…The movie you wish everyone knew about?
Emma: The Forbidden Zone (1982) and Pina Bausch's Die Klage Der Kaiserin (1990).
Anna: I saw this amazing Russian film this year called Come and See (1985), and I would certainly recommend that. The kid in it is other-worldly.

…The place you'd take me for a night out if I visited Sydney?
Jonathan: I think we’d go for a late night swim at Redleaf Pool. It’s a harbour beach with pontoons and a view of the city. Is that a little too sleazy?

…Your favourite website?
Jonathan: SPACE JAM.
Anna: The online Luscher colour test.

How would you describe your music?
Jonathan: Holy Balm is a dance band, When we perform it’s a sweaty time with lots of dancefloor moves. We like to mess around with the structures of our music, let it ride itself and the audience. It’s loose and lively, which is where we get all the NY downtown and No Wave references from, but we are pushing into a really house zone at the moment. I'm really feeling the Chicago sound. Emma’s vocals are pretty intimate at times and there is some obscurity and haze, but it’s party music and we always respect the beat. - Dazed & Confused

"The Fader - Video: Holy Balm "Losing Control""

Last month, Sydney electronic trio Holy Balm released It’s You, an LP’s worth of distressed beats and teetering synth lines, via local scene stalwarts R.I.P. Society and Los Angeles’ Not Not Fun. Today, they’re unveiling a pretty unusual video for album cut “Losing Control” by Sydney new media artist Ella Barclay, who’s grafted the heads of band members Anna John, Emma Ramsay and Jonathan Hochman onto a trinity of floating, clam-like enclosures. Behold as they idle about a star-studded digital screensaver background for the duration of the dance track, and observe how the absurdity of the graphics is strangely well suited for the chanting, stone-faced delivery of the singers.
by Emilie Friedlander
- The Fader

"Gorilla vs Bear - Holy Balm - Take it"

New track from Sydney, Australia “avant-party” trio Holy Balm, taken from their forthcoming LP It’s You, which has found an ideal home here in the States in L.A. weirdo emporium Not Not Fun. “Take It” finds the ESG-influenced crew exploring a dystopic, danceable world inhabited by vintage drum machines and wobbly synthesizers, as Emma Ramsay’s elegantly wasted vocals lull us into a tranced-out daze: - Gorilla vs Bear


2012 -
Debut Album- 'It's You', Not Not Fun Records, available worldwide on 12" and CD digipak, distributed by revolver in USA.

'It's You', Australian Version 12" LP and CD - RIP Society, Distributed nationally by Fuse Australia

Streaming of 'Take it', the first single from the album is available at Gorilla vs Bear, where the track was posted as an exclusive premier, and was also featured on their May Mix.

The second single - 'Holy Balm Theme' was premiered with it's video clip, directed by Angela Bermuda of cult Australian band Circle Pit (siltbreeze)

The third single -'Phone Song' was given exclusive web premier on Dazed & Confused

The fourth single from It's You is 'Losing Control' was given an exclusive premier with it's videoclip, directed by Sydney Artist Ella Barclay on The Fader, selected by influential New York music writer Emilie Friedlander

It's You was named album of the week on Australia's FBI radio http://www.fbiradio.com/music/album-of-the-week/ and the tracks Take it, Holy Balm theme and Losing Control were all added to regular rotation playlists on Fbi, 2ser and JJJ.

7" Single, 'Hand over Fire / Strange Water' - Hustle Muscle

BUM CREEK / HOLY BALM - 'Nightshades' Split C37 Spanish Magic, 2010 Australia

HOLY BALM - 'Live at Serial Space' C-30 Cassette (the Green Cactus Tape sold out) NEAR TAPES NT004, 2009

HOLY BALM / VINCENT OVER THE SINK - Blessed Basin Split CDR) Chooch-a-bahn Records 0003

Forthcoming in 2013
HOLY BALM - ONE AND ONLY REMIX Michael Ozone / FASHION (unreleased) 12” HOME LOAN Records (Australia), Worldwide Distribution by Rush Hour UK



Dance outfit Holy Balm hail from Sydney. After years of performing on the outskirts of Sydney's underground music and art scenes, the band have moved through improvised, longer form beginnings to create their own endless dance floor. Traipsing through hazy, sultry tropical flavours to brooding dark-wave tinged ballads, the band take a daring position within the realm of dance and synth based music. Live percussion punctuates house influenced beats in the vein of Arthur Russell (Go Bang!) and loose, wobbly synth lines reminisce on Larry Heard's brand of 80's Chicago house. Their live shows deliver big rhythms, rich textures and real party jams with artists Anna John, Emma Ramsay and Jonathan Hochman.

After a batch of independent tape releases and a 7 inch on Hustle Muscle, the first full length release It's You was released August this year with the debut single premiered at Gorilla Vs Bear and write ups in Sampler Mag and DAZED.

"Sydney, Australia's Holy Balm trio jack out a heat-warped LP of avant-dance songs for Not Not Fun. 'It's You' feels like dance music that's been made in a hot country. It's got a faded, sun-bleached quality and drunk-in-the-afternoon sloppiness that's entirely endearing to our tastes. Their synth melodies are always prone to slipping saltily off-key and the beats are basically functional - lumpy kicks and squirmy, acidic synth pop bass- ridden with alluring nonchalance by Anna John in a hybrid of basement minimal wave and '90s dance pop memes. Repetitive, hypnotic, lo-fi and pebble dashed with off-the- cuff hooks, imagine Design A Wave jamming with Maria Minerva and Peaking Lights and you're very close to Holy Balm's sound." Boomkat

Last year's LA Vampires club-cruise across Australia unearthed a multitude of uplifting experiences (Cairns hippie aerialists, Newcastle hardcore, Melbourne acid sangria, etc), but chief among them was the live actualization of Sydney post-power trio Holy Balm, who slyly gene-splice strands of mutant new wave, freeform house, digital trashcan tribalism, and minimalist pop into something playful, primitive, and splatter paint-party perfect. After a few micro-limited split tapes and a single 7", the band finally enlisted the help of Jon Hunter at Magnetic Recording Council Studios to record and mix their debut full-length, resulting in the whacked-out hypercolor majesty of It's You. Comprised of live classics ("Take It," "Holy Balm Theme," "Town Called Hope") as well as some wild, extended studio experiments ("Phone Song," "One & Only"), plus a Y Pants cover, the album captures HB's wobbly electronic freak-funk and paradise garage grooves gloriously. September finds them embarking on their first ever U.S. tour/voyage so now's the time to Balm up. Released in Australia via esteemed pan-genre punkers R.I.P. Society. Funky cactus cover artwork and layout by Sydney conceptual painter Mitch Cairns. Edition of 800. Not Not Fun

Holy Balm have shared the stage with bands such as Total Control (Melb), Black Dice (NY), The Boredoms (Japan) and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (LA). The band has featured on New Weird Australia compilations, featured in rare film collaborations with Australian contemporary artists performing at the Sydney Opera House.

The debut release It's You is available through Not Not Fun Records (US and EUROPE) and RIP Society records (AUS).