Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
It's almost as if we can feel the sun applying itself directly to our skin, cooking us on the bare arms, the tops of our heads and on our pointy little noses, just doing what we secretly want it to do, giving us that healthy-looking tan that's the envy of all the pasties. We desire the skin tone of a pair of khaki pants as that is equal to some sort of pleasantness in demeanor. Holiday Shores, the Tallahassee band - springing out of a suddenly very vibrant Florida indie rock scene with the likes of Fake Problems and Surfer Blood also working out of that geographic oddity, makes us feel those rays etching on us a different kind of coating that settles on us like the residue of a salty breeze. They jockey for this carefree and lulling tumble that allows us to gravitate to all of their ancient jangles and mirror balled reflections skittering over our feet - perhaps the lonely and scared kisses of the starlight shuffling. The band, led by Nathan Pemberton's chill and still gut-busting when they need it vocals and this non-showy, but absolutely impressive sense of calm and jitteriness that lets the music ring out, gives credence a diverse array of ways to feel comfortably numb and alive. Holiday Shores press us to follow them into the swelling waves, to just walk right into them until we're up to our belly buttons and then suddenly up to our throats and finally our noses are going under and we're still walking, because we trust that there's more life wherever they're taking us. If they know the way there, there's gotta be more and we blindly treat this as a truth. They remind us of a soft faith between everything mysterious and all that we've already figured out as if there's something at work to keep the gap between the two equidistant so that there's always enough of a familiarity to make it all the more puzzling - those mysterious, the ones we're being led into here in the calm darkness. To us, though, Holiday Shores and everything that they put on the lovely album, "Columbus'd The Whim," celebrates the sunniness of mystery, imparting a feeling of sweet abandon to it - just like those sunburns we catch, that catch us off-guard. The record hands us drinks with coconut shavings in them, for that missing tropical flavor that the tongue immediately detects up-front - drinks with a sugary ring around their rims. The songs stream at us about as coolly as any possibly could. And yet, they pry at us like lonely creatures that are still trying to pick their spots, trying not to be kept by anyone. They are on the lam, but going about their escapes with an ease in temper and no real urgency. These should be the ways our hauntings and dreams always sound. We could really start to love them all equally at that point, just getting drunk on their shaken hearts.
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