Premiere: Holy Nowhere Shares New Album ‘Soft Return’ - Stream It Early Below | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024  

Premiere: Holy Nowhere Shares New Album ‘Soft Return’ - Stream It Early Below

Soft Return Is Out On December 8th via Mint 400 Records

Dec 07, 2023 Photography by Holy Nowhere Bookmark and Share

Holy Nowhere is the new project from Seattle-based musician Steve Sachs. After growing up in New Jersey, Sachs first got his start making fuzzy indie rock with his previous band, YJY. The band broke up following the release of their 2017 record, The Enduring YJY, and soon after Sachs relocated to Seattle, looking for a fresh start. After a time, Sachs began writing again, sketching a series of demos that he would flesh out with fellow indie musician and producer Dana Why. The resulting tracks make up his new solo debut album, Soft Return.

The full album is out tomorrow on December 8th, but ahead of the release Holy Nowhere is sharing an early listen to the full record, premiering with Under the Radar.

Working remotely, Sachs and Dana sent demos from coast to coast, honing them into a series of tightly wound indie pop gems lined with sharp hooks, hypnotic electronic elements, and Sachs’ nervy lyricism. There is an anxious and sometimes nihilistic undercurrent to many of the tracks on the record, but what most stands out on first listen is Sachs’s penchant for insistent melodies and the polished sheen Dana brings on the production end. The record opens with the entrancing beats and elliptical guitar riffs of “Save You,” but quickly pivots into sunny indie rock with “Infinite Mirror,” steeping the track in iridescent guitar tones. Later, “You’re Moving On” offers a sparse and yearning effort, colored in equal measure by rippling synths and acoustic guitar, while that reflective tone reemerges with tracks like “Wailing Loon.” Finally, the album closes out on a twinkling and beautifully catchy note, “Just a Memory.”

Sachs says of the album, “This record is called Soft Return. In typography, a hard return is a break in the text used to start a new paragraph, while a soft return is used to begin a new line directly below the current line of text. The entire process of making this record felt like a series of soft returns. There were no breaks in the momentum and no forcing anything. Ideas seemed to come when they were needed, people seemed to arrive at the right time with offers to collaborate on production or videos, and just when it was all done, a label got in contact about distribution and promotion. The only thing left to do now is get it out there into the world and let it find its audience. —— One final note: I can’t say enough about what an incredible collaborator Dana is. My name (or at least my pseudonym) is attached to these songs, but Dana is just as responsible for this record as I am. You’d be listening to voice memos from my phone without him.”

Dana Why continues, saying of the album, “Working with Steve on the Holy Nowhere record was pretty much the ideal remote-recording situation. He’d had all of these demos stockpiled, so he’d pick the ones he wanted to develop further and send them along, the entire structures worked out on guitar and vocals. He was gracious enough to give me nearly full reign over arrangement and production choices, which was a dream for me. He really trusted my vision. His songs are so strongly and classically structured in a way that my own rarely are, and I think working within these confines helped to elevate both of our strengths. His simple yet elegant guitar parts and instant earworm vocal melodies held down the topline, so I concentrated most of my efforts on drum machine and bass. Once the groove felt right, everything else was cake. After two or three songs, we had a pretty clear direction of where this record should go. A few of Steve’s reference points were Grizzly Bear, Radiohead, Beach House, & Portishead. I’m really proud of how we funneled these influences into a tight little pop record all our own.”

Check out the full album below and pre-save the record here, out everywhere tomorrow, December 8th, via Mint 400 Records.


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