HOLYCHILD aren’t exactly surprised that in the last few years their brand of subversive left-field pop music has caught on. Pleased, yes. Honored? Of course. But given the way the world has been convulsing of late, getting heavier and heavier each day with a new police brutality video going viral, radical religious inspired terrorist attack or another post-Cold War global power dynamic changing before our eyes, neither member find it shocking that in pop music, listeners are craving substance.
For HOLYCHILD their statement is a self-ascribed genre called brat-pop; or otherwise known as a mix of sarcastic social commentary laden lyrics with absurdist over-the-top inspired music productions Liz Nistico and partner Louie Diller perfected on their debut album The Shape of Brat Pop to Come. It’s a potent blend that’s alive and well on their newest offering, the five song EP, America Oil Lamb. The collaboration EP features the talents of Kate Nash, RAC, Mereki, Tkay Maidza, MS MR, and Kitten. The release sees the Los Angeles duo stretching their signature sound showcasing them and showing their influences of alt-rock, hip hop and R&B.
“We felt we could stretch more on this record, since each song is a collaboration,” Diller muses. “It was fun to explore and show different sides of us on the EP…I think Liz’s voice and me producing/mixing most everything helps tie it together though, so there’s still a HOLYCHILD vibe.”
As with any HOLYCHILD outing, the goal here is equality: be it gender, racially or economically based. Over the course of five songs, the artists take on a myriad of topics, including the limitations and archaic expectations women endure everyday (“Rotten Teeth”), the shallowness of celebrity idolization (“Not Invited”), and the global oligarchy regarding humanity as if it were a herd of sheep (“America Oil Lamb”).
Nowhere is their agitation more evident than on the duo’s first single, the Kate Nash featured cut, “Rotten Teeth.” Across insistent snare drums and an army of guitars and synths, Nistico reflects on the state of the modern woman, declaring “I can never be the girl I want to be/no no I’m never free,” with Nash replying “Do we eat or just starve ourselves tonight?”
“The co modification of feminism is interesting to me,” says Nistico. “On one hand, I feel frustrated. Of course we’re in this capitalist world where we’re selling everything we possibly can. On the other hand, it excites me because the trend of feminism is so cool! It’s so good for the cause! Our EP is essentially embracing that paradox and trying to be true to ourselves while we are doing it. Can we change things through pop? I don’t know, we’re still trying to figure it all out.”