On first listen Holy Motors’ new album ‘Horse’ seems like a typical country album, complete with cowboy tropes and sleepy guitars pulling the listener back to the gold rush. It might come as a surprise, then, to learn that Holy Motors is a musical outfit from Estonia rather than the rolling plains of the Wild West. Despite being a European act, Holy Motors still does an incredible job of creating an ethereal, dreamlike vision of the cowboy era, or at least the fantasy of that era we’ve seen in countless films.
Despite a modest eight songs adding up to a runtime of just over half an hour, Holy Motors’ sophomore album feels like a trip through a saloon in a sleepy town at closing time, with lead vocalist Eliann Tulver providing the same sombre tone of someone like Lana Del Rey. It’s befitting for the atmosphere of the album, and the rest of the band provides a mellow accompaniment to her haunting vocals.
The ending track – ‘Life Valley (So Many Miles Away)’ – exemplifies the atmosphere perfectly as we’re played out with a guitar that quite literally rides out into the sunset, and we’re left feeling that we’ve experienced a journey of a lone wanderer. It’s the perfect thing for a lazy Sunday morning listen or a jaunt on horseback, but we’d recommend staring up at the stars and taking in the tightly crafted, soothing album.