Holy Golden,
The TVD First Date

“The thumping sound when a record ends is like a heartbeat. A knock on the door of the moment that says, “turn me over and begin again.” I used to search through my basement as a kid, seeking some form of treasure. I would find piles of scratched vinyl, warped and dusty, and I would wonder—what strange world did my parents come from? I would envision previous eras as forgotten lands of faded color and emotion. When you hold a vinyl in your hand, you are forced to see the artist in front of you—the product of their hard work, creativity, style, and choices.”

“In the basement as a kid I was alone, but sorting through those records, I was surrounded by ghosts in glittering gowns and bellbottoms—smiling at me from the time machine abyss of their record cover, saying “I still have things to say to you.” The truth we find in music doesn’t just exist in the past or future, it is always true.

A strange and serendipitous moment involving a record store occurred on the island of Martha’s Vineyard on a cold December day. It involves two lonely artists—the artists are me, Leslie Schott, and Andrew Valenti. Together we are the band Holy Golden. We owe our meeting to a now extinct record shop called Aboveground Records. I was alone in Cape Cod caring for my elderly grandmother. Andrew was a farmer and tractor driver on the Vineyard and worked one day a week at Aboveground Records. I decided to take the ferry over to the Vineyard to wander around and film some material for a film I was working on.

A mixture of astrological force, ennui, and a desire to stare at the ocean possessed me to walk 6 miles in the freezing cold. I was walking slowly when I saw a sign for a record store and decided I would go inside. I entered the shop and met eyes with Andrew who was working behind the desk. We didn’t say anything to each other but something odd was happening in the atmosphere between us. When I picked out my music (Kurt Vile, The Microphones, Smog) and paid, I noticed his hands were trembling. He asked what I was doing on the island and told me about a concert happening that night. I assumed he hoped I would attend. I boarded the ferry a few hours later to head back to the mainland, but at the last moment I jumped off and found my way to the concert.

In a matter of hours Andrew and I, along with a group of his friends, were dancing wildly to records spinning one after another, up in Andrew’s apartment ‘above’ Aboveground Records. Andrew had hundreds of records piled up—an avid collector. I had never owned a record in my life and didn’t even know how to play one until that night. I thought I had broken the machine at first when I heard the fuzz of the music starting.

The physical life of vinyl has set the stage for our time together, circular friends who helped fill the spaces between two shy people who didn’t always know what to say. There’s a metered rhythm to listening to a record, a living pulse that pushes the moment along.

When I flew back to LA, Andrew would send me a ‘song of the day’ and every morning I would wake up and listen—the energy of the music filling the thousands of miles between us.

The day we could tangibly hold our album Wax Castle on vinyl was surreal. I remember myself not long ago, a girl who said she couldn’t play music, couldn’t sing, was too scared to share of herself but happened to need those things more than anything.

For Holy Golden, music is our language, helping us speak the things we don’t always know how to say. A pulse that begins and ends, just to start over again. Like a breath, like a heartbeat.”
Leslie Schott

Holy Golden’s latest album Otherworld is in stores now.

Holy Golden Official | Facebook | Twitter
PHOTO: CAROLINE GODDARD

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