Holy Ghost!: Holy Ghost! (DFA) 

As someone who, at the age of 13, spent a lot of time locked in my room performing elaborately choreographed renditions of Erasure deep cuts like "Weight of the World" and "Cry So Easy," I'm probably the target audience for the Holy Ghost! debut album. Oddly enough, Holy Ghost! opens with "Do It Again," a song that wavers between the jubilance of this sort of bedroom cabaret and the undeniable allure of urban nightlife.

"Nothing's the matter / That's why I can't leave my house," the singer asserts against a flouncy disco beat. "You must get lonely / I don't get lonely / So, that's why I can't leave my house." That confidence segues into a general malaise: Nothing's on TV; there's nowhere to go; I want to be anywhere but here: "There's something going on, but I don't know where." Yes, "Do It Again" is about one of dance-pop's ur-narratives, namely the pursuit of the perfect party, the perfect night and the frustration of the same old scene populated by the same old characters.

Right off the bat, we're wedged between that thirst for newness and the paradoxical alienation at the heart of every audiophile. Is music made for dancing or rumination? Bacchanals or dancing in front of the mirror in your underwear?

Holy Ghost! wavers, and wants to occupy both the intense personal world and the ribald communal one. The satisfyingly fuzzy bass-squelch on "Hold On" leads us heavenward—if heaven's made of colored spotlights flashing off of disco balls.

More by Sean Bottai


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