Coat of Arms: Vinyl LP
Holiday Ghosts

Coat of Arms: Vinyl LP

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Label: Fat Cat
Release Date: 29th March

Holiday Ghosts are such a proper indie pop/alt-rock band that if they existed in the mid-80s to early 90s they'd definitely become a cult favourite band on a beloved label, snapped up by a major hoping to catch a taste of that MTV 120 Minutes fandom, release a couple of excellent records that would never make enough for the fat cats and return to another beloved indie label with exactly the same adulation. They're like that.

Following-up their acclaimed 2023 ‘Absolute Reality’, Holiday Ghosts announce their fifth album, ‘Coat Of Arms’. The group’s latest material signals a new phase in their development and arrives alongside news of their biggest UK headline tour to date, including a date at London’s Moth Club lined up this April, which follows their debut trip stateside for SXSW.

Lead single ‘Sublime Disconnect’ is a perfect distillation of the sound Holiday Ghosts have perfected over their career. Co-vocalist Kat Rackin’s driving drumming style and staccato vocal delivery propels a rousing guitar melody and breakneck bassline, until a catchy chorus of ‘ba ba bas’ erupts over the entire endeavour.

However, beneath the buoyant demeanour belies a deeper lyrical meaning. “I’m Iranian, my parents were both born there and moved to Sweden after the Iranian revolution in the 80s,” explains Kat. “I was born in Malmö and moved to England when I was eight. I grew up as a child with little attachment to Iran as I tried my hardest to blend in with the people around me, but the older I got the more different I felt the more blurred my sense of self got.”

‘Sublime Disconnect’’s lyrics speak to this dissonance of identity, with lines like: “And now they ask who am I and where am I from / Will I find peace when I belong?” “In hindsight I can pinpoint a few incidents of racism that planted this seed that I didn’t-fully belong here, that Sweden or England, weren’t really my home,” says Kat, “nor is Iran as I have never been there as my parents aren’t allowed back. The song is partly putting this question out there: what does it mean to belong?”

‘Sublime Disconnect’ can be seen at the album’s political crux, the track anchors the band’s activist identity. “I think this question of belonging is kind of rhetorical though, because I don’t think there is peace for anyone except for those that make the rules,” says Kat. “I think living under governments where the immigration policies are getting more and more dystopian has also hugely contributed to this song and the notion of belonging. The line: ‘Does your future burn bright? And what about me? A free pass, favour, till I’m back on my feet,’ is a reference to privilege versus having to start from scratch, about the obliviousness that some people have towards the struggle of others.”

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