Holychild Dish Out West African Rhythms and Rock Renditions of Miles Davis

Categories: Bands We Like
Holychild photo.jpg
Bret Leinen

Elizabeth Nistico and Louis Diller's story is not too uncommon--boy meets girl in college; girl graduates and moves from Washington, D.C., to Brooklyn; girl commutes to Washington, D.C., while boy finishes up school; girl decides to say, "Screw it" and sells all of her belongings so she can move back to Washington, D.C., to start a band. Add in a dash of basement-party soul and West African rhythms, and you have an idea of how Holychild were born.

"We spent virtually every night for a couple of months during the summer of 2011 in [Louis'] practice space in D.C. making music together," Nistico explains. At the time, they had no intention of doing anything seriously with the music after drifting apart post-graduation, but after getting sick of the arduous commute from Brooklyn to D.C., Nistico's decision to move back turned into a year-long evolution, wading through various styles and band members to create a journey through which songs such as "Diamonds On the Rebound" bloom with the hippie sunshine in Nistico's voice and Diller's deft knowledge of a head-bobbing downbeat.

A year and a half after the two began writing and jamming together, they have produced their first baby, a sturdy little EP called Tribes, which they're ready to share with the world. "[It] was a fairly massive production for just seven songs," Nistico says.

The tracks run the gamut of indie genres, ranging from straightforward pop to string-driven funk, even an indie rock arrangement of Miles Davis' "All Blues." "We have everything from our West African friend, Gabin, ripping it on talking drum to a local children's choir to the president of George Washington University and a huge gang of vocals on the record," Nistico explains.

The boundary stretching carried over into Nistico's and Diller's personal lives, as they moved to Los Angeles upon finishing the EP. "We decided it would be wise to relocate to a thriving creative environment such as LA to further the project," Nistico admits. "It was here in LA where Louis has reconnected with a bunch of his California friends--he's from Oakland originally--and in turn, we asked Russell Henson and Ben Rose to join us in this endeavor, complete the sound and make Holychild what it is today."

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