As anyone who’s ever stayed in one place far too long will know, sometimes a drastic change is what’s needed. For Holy Family, the duo of non-blood brothers Anton Ekman and Viktor Hansson, a radical relocation from Sweden to Canada has helped shape the sound of their transatlantic debut album Can’t Dance, Wont Steal, Need Some Help.
Country kids at heart, Montreal’s lush scenery provided respite from the daily rigmarole of their home city with Canada’s open spaces having a far bigger influence on the pair than they expected. The expedition wasn’t a case of simply ‘finding’ themselves, this was a band who had already met, gotten to know each other, performed at Toronto Film Festival, received an award from the Swedish Association of Composers (STIM), and broken up with themselves; originally a trio until their third member left town, if anyone could be certain of their identity, it’s Holy Family. “As a trio we struggled to make long-distance work but after a while we had to accept that sending files back and forth between each other wasn’t for us,” admits Hansson. “Our sole goal was to make enough tracks to fund inter-rail tickets for an Eastern European tour. Somewhere down the line we stopped dreaming of Eastern Europe but continued making tracks.”
Whether finding a way to mix things up a little or simply as a means of escape Can’t Dance is an album fuelled by hope. From questioning the status quo and social roles of a previous life to focusing upon wants and needs mostly born out of personal frustrations for now, Holy Family’s distinct approach comes from appreciation rather than disdain; from hoping that life will prove itself somewhat moldable, wherever they find themselves.