[Album Review] Holy Hum- All of My Bodies
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)

Release Date: October 6th, 2017
Label: Heavy Lark

Andrew Yong Hoon Lee (aka Holy Hum) creates a sprawling canvas with ‘All of My Bodies’, populating it only sparingly with conventional sung parts. The rest is ambience or near-ambience, experimental electronics, and vocals that are more part of the sonic landscape than front-and-centre. Taken as a whole it’s a masterfully crafted composition, but any track can be taken individually and appreciated in its own completeness.

At times there are moments of colour, such as in the lovely “Flower in the Snow” featuring a lilting flute and sonorous cello. That is not to say that the rest of the album is drab. Far from it. But it has a different kind of beauty — something more ethereal and transcendent. The pace is mostly ambient, creating a mesmerizing effect, most notably on tracks like “Heavy Lark” with its echoing guitars and drums. On “White Buzz” this pace is maintained for an extended period of time while Lee sings some strange poetry (“In my wine/Witches are singing/Come to the flame”). Then a screeching guitar slowly comes in but builds to a blaring crescendo.

The effect can also be quite dreamy, such as in “Sex at 31” in which guitars reverberate over a mysterious rhythm that ends up as a pulsation. And, despite the unhurried pace, there is indeed drama, although it may be more of the bass-swelling Pink Floyd kind, such as on “Mellotron Doom”.

Because of Lee’s experimental bent, ‘All of My Bodies’ is not exactly easy-listening, even at its most conventional moments. But that, of course, is exactly the charm. His music needs to be listened to in full, absorbed, and appreciated. It is well worth the effort.