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Holy Wave Announce New Album “Five of Cups” – Out August 4th on Suicide Squeeze & Share New Single

May 21, 2023
Photo credit: James Oswald


Announce New Album ‘Five of Cups’
Out August 4th on Suicide Squeeze

Austin, Texas band Holy Wave announce their new album ‘Five of Cups’, out August 4, 2023 on Suicide Squeeze Records.
In addition to the announcement, they have shared single “Happier,” which sounds like it was unearthed from a time capsule buried on a commune in 1970s California. It’s accompanied by an appropriately dark, trippy video directed by Arturo Baston that only heightens the acid-washed listening experience.
On the track, vocalist/guitarist Ryan Fuson offers: “We had been working on this song on and off again for a while and it all kind of came together right before we started recording this album. The song is loosely a song to Kurt Vonnegut, and a song taking some of his ideas and quotes and exploring them a little further. Mainly just a song about happiness today and maybe where it was during his time. While recording this song we knew that we wanted something unique for the outro, but we didn’t really know what it was that we were looking for, so we sent the song to Estrella and basically asked her to do whatever she thought was right and she completely exceeded our vision. It really took the song to a whole new level, some place we have never been before.”

Sonically, Holy Wave has captured this classic arrangement, elevated notes through the fuzzy drive, and delicate notes shine amongst the deep landscape. A cinematically entrancing creation tinged with melanchony at its very best. With the infusion of both very intoxicating and commanding vocal harmonies, this arrangement delivers on emotion and this magnetic pull.

In Tarot readings, the Five of Cups card signifies loss and grief. Depicting a cloaked figure with a bowed head looming over three spilled chalices while ignoring two remaining vessels, the Five of Cups is generally interpreted as representing a forlorn dwelling on the past and an inability to appreciate the positive things in the present. It was this card that struck a chord with Ryan Fuson, member of the Austin TX subversive subterranean pop outfit Holy Wave, during a Tarot reading at the height of the pandemic. “I was really sure that the music world was finished and it seemed like internet aggression and, well, aggression in general was at an all-time high, so I was ready to stop playing music,” Fuson says. “It could be so easy to become jaded and pessimistic and I had to really decide what perspective I was going to take.” Rather than abandon music, Fuson and his compatriots chose to immerse themselves in their work. Fittingly, the Tarot card became the muse for Holy Wave’s sixth full-length album—‘Five of Cups’.
Back at the beginning of their career, Holy Wave leaned into a tranquil realm of psychedelia, eschewing long-form jams and guitar heroics for a dreamy pop-oriented approach. As the band evolved, the early Sgt. Peppers-meets-the-Velvets sound yielded to more sophisticated melodies and tripped-out instrumentation, effectively steering their music away from sun-bleached nostalgia to a color-saturated dimension where sounds of the past, present, and future intermingled.
The childhood friends of Fuson, Joey Cook, Kyle Hager, and Julian Ruiz grew up in El Paso, where they cut their teeth in the local DIY scene. Hungry for more music and broader perspectives, the members made frequent road trips across the Southwest to catch touring bands who opted to skip West Texas markets. That wanderlust eventually prompted their relocation to Austin, but it also permeated in their adventurous songwriting and love for touring. No small surprise then that these aural explorers felt that a whole way of life was taken from them with the onset of the pandemic. But on ‘Five of Cups’, it sounds as if the physical limitations of quarantine life prompted Holy Wave to wander even deeper into new sonic territories.
As with the Tarot card from which it got its name, ‘Five of Cups’ is an acknowledgement of hardship and a reminder to embrace the joys available to us. And like early ‘70s Pink Floyd, Holy Wave have figured out how to conjure a sense of profound exhilaration out of pathos, filtering dark elements through a lens and bending them into a kaleidoscope of light.

Holy Wave’s ‘Five of Cups’ will be released via Suicide Squeeze on CD/LP/DSP on August 4, 2023.
‘Five of Cups’ tracklist:
1. The Five Of Cups
2. Bog Song
3. Chaparral
4. Path of Least Resistance
5. Nothing is Real
6. Hypervigilance
7. The Darkest Timeline
8. Nothing in the Dark
9. Happier


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