Pushing their lo-fi pop/indie manifesto ambitions to the extreme, White Marque, the debut album from North-east outfit Holiday in Tokyo is as serious as it is referential. Underpinned by an embellishment of sounds and instruments, White Marque takes a collection of musical ideas, such as the Arctic-Monkey’s inspired, instrumental/lounge act temperature of ‘Sunset Sasparilla’ and matches it with more direct Beach-Boys/Jan and Dean surf-rock textures of ‘Caribbean Twist’ to form a truly unique collection of songs.
“Yeah they are unique I suppose’ laughs Tokyo frontman Matty Rogers “we built the songs up over quite a long period of time and they were really influenced by bands and artists we like listening to. I think that if you create music when you’re inspired, then the chances are that what you’re listening to will impact what you’re writing”.
Formed in County Durham, Holiday have progressed deliberately from a gigging band playing covers, to a more definitive/original outfit – culminating in the release of their debut album on the 5th of August. “It really is a dream come true for me and the band” continues Matty “we always dreamed of releasing an album, but it took a while for us to realise the dream. And I’d say to all up-and-coming bands, and younger musicians, keep going, even when it’s hard to get out and play or to convince yourself to practice. It took a while for us to release our debut EP ‘Las Yucas is Overgrown’, but when we did we suddenly realised that we could make the album happen. And we’re so happy and proud that we’ve been able to do that”.
Released on limited vinyl pressings, courtesy of Press-On Vinyl, and recorded in part at Blast Studios and finished at Harbourmaster Productions, White Marque’s 10 songs showcase a band focused on pushing themselves and their sounds into new places. ‘Make My Day’ the band’s best-known single to date, which sprinkles with pop/indie effects, now resonates in a much more interesting way when listened next to the adjourning ‘White Marquee’ finale album track – a song deeply exploring relationships. “For me, I often listen to music in the car as it gives me a chance to fully listen to an album and follow the journey of where the album wants you to go. I think White Marque tries to do something similar; it’s an album that deliberately tries to do something more than just be a collection of songs, whilst also trying to showcase the sound of a band trying to have fun and push themselves musically”.
An album launch party with support from Reservoirs and Detroit Tourist Board (“we couldn’t be happier with the line-up and both bands are not only amazing live acts but they’re also so friendly and helpful”) seems a fitting end to part one of the band’s dream – though Matty isn’t wanting to wake up just yet; “we can’t believe we’ve made an album, and that we’re launching it at an event with such good bands and friends. But, to me, this is the start of the journey for the band rather than the end of it. As one dream is achieved, others are just starting”.