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How to Get to Heaven from Jacksonville, FL

Gospel Music

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Album Review

Gospel Music is the solo project of Owen Holmes, bassist from the Black Kids, a quirky pop band that went from posting tunes on MySpace to a major-label deal in less than two years. Although his melodies have the quirky charm of the best Black Kids songs, it's doubtful that Holmes will repeat his other band's success. His dark humor and use of ukulele, toy piano, banjo, and off-kilter rhythms probably makes him a bit too odd for mainstream taste, but fans of the early work of Modern Lovers or Moldy Peaches will love his lo-fi approach. The lyrics are mordantly clever as they dissect the foibles and follies of lovers and other dreamers trying to make sense of contemporary life. "Bird/Fish" opens the record with a scratchy recording that sounds like it was made on an answering machine. It's an odd love, or maybe anti-love, song that sets the ironic tone for what follows. "This Town Doesn't Have Enough Bars for Both of Us" is a jangly pop tune that recounts the impossibility or avoiding your ex when you live in a small town. The lyric incorporates an old joke — "I'm not drinking any more, but I'm not drinking any less" — and makes it sound fresh. The lovers in "Bedroom Farce" describe a perfect couple they know, then shrug and sing: "Guess we're stuck with each other." Madeline Long's deadpan vocal adds to the song's bittersweet impact. "Apartment" is a charming love song that rides a '60s pop groove to tell the tale of lovers who keep breaking up and getting back together. Holmes and Long sing it with a sly, sexy tone that'll bring a smile to even the most jaded listener. Holmes often bends and twists his lyrics to make them fit into his slightly skewed melodies, but that's one of the things that makes you want to shout hallelujah when you listen to this record. ~ j. poet, Rovi


Born: Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Gospel Music is the lo-fi twee pop side project of Black Kids bassist Owen Holmes. Diverging from the glossy, stylish Black Kids sound (as well as any expectations set by the project's name), Gospel Music offers charmingly ramshackle tunes in the vein of the Moldy Peaches, delivered with Holmes’ deadpan, Calvin Johnson-esque vocals. The project debuted in fall 2010 with the EP Duettes, a collection of rapid-fire songs written for two singers, featuring such guest vocalists as Darren Hayman (Hefner),...
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How to Get to Heaven from Jacksonville, FL, Gospel Music
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