HOLIDAY BY MISTAKE-GILT HEAD//Album Review

It’s pretty easy to feel burnt out in the mist of a pandemic that seems like it will never end. Sometimes, our brains just need a break, some easy listening or a lapse from this bleak reality. The aptly-named, Holiday By Mistake, provides exactly that. 

Recorded in quarantine by the Amherst-based duo, Gilt Head, Holiday By Mistake, is an intricately woven tapestry of delicate guitar and spacey vocal hooks. The album, which is host to nine tracks, each with a unique charm, brushes shoulders with countless genres, from folk to psychedelia to shoe-gaze. There’s something in the sound for nearly everyone. This is not an album you’ll be banging your head to, but it’s perfect listening for a snow-streaked walk through the park or a chill night in lockdown. 

Holiday By Mistake opens with a gentle sweep of a guitar, complete with a tone that will send you back to the nineties and early 2000s. The first track, Thought You Said, is soft and sweet, reminiscent of early Jimmy Eat World (in the days of “Roller Queen” and “Softer”). “Steady, steady on, I think we’ve had a pretty good run, time to nestle that setting sun,” the track laments, calling to mind the end of a long journey, a sense of inner peace in the face of hardship. Underneath the dreamy vocals, a soft drum kit jangles and waves of guitar undulate, drawing the listener further and further into the escapist world that Gilt Head has managed to bring to life. 

An early standout of this album is the second track, Late November, which immediately hits the listener with a hooky guitar line. A trademark of Gilt Head’s sound seems to be the immense texture in the fabric of the guitar, so complex that you discover new threads with each listen. Sections of Late November call to mind some of the folkier moments from Led Zeppelin (think The Rain Song or Over the Hills and Far Away), while simultaneously echoing an almost jazz-like ethos. The song does an excellent job of capturing the essence of freeform songwriting, leaving space for the listener’s mind to expand, without straying too far from the top line. 

Gilt Head is a relatively new project from Massachusetts musicians, Will Byler and Devon Murphy, who have been collaborating since 2010. After several years of what the band has described as, “tolling away in cold basements and living rooms, waiting for footsteps and creaky radiators to fade so that another layer of guitar can be tracked,” they have released their self-produced debut, the elegantly-crafted, Holiday By Mistake. For fans of nineties indie-rock, psychedelia, or beautifully-picked guitar in general, this album is certainly worth a listen. 

Color Code: Indigo

Check Out Holiday By Mistake HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=781sunx5Ay0

Published by voiddmusicblog

Promoting local music, womxn in music, and lgbtq+ musicians.

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