Holy Fuck’s aesthetic is that of organic electronica, a paradox realized by four musicians making complex electronic music without the tools of the trade.
Born of the union of two under-the-radar Canadians, Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh. Borcherdt was a vet of a few bands, including By Divine Right (whose members also once included BSS players Feist and Brendan Canning). Walsh meanwhile was an ex-member of Hamilton shoegaze-pop act Flux A.D., and a busy producer working with A Northern Chorus among others.
How these two parlayed their collective knowledge of DIY guerilla tactics, a soundman’s ear for gadgets, and an improv stage show into one Canada’s most talked-about bands is a matter of happy coincidence and guts. Basically, the duo planned to take the stage with a bassist and drummer, make noise with their toys, and see what happened.
They never practice, and they forego the series of loops and laptops that often become normalizing crutches for some of electronica’s most prominent. Instead, Holy Fuck pulls from 20 or so toy keyboards, an array of pedals, a four-string bass, a drumkit and a film synchronizer, which supplies the squalls and scratches of a turntable.
One of the band’s first shows was a Pop Montreal slot with a last-minute rhythm section and no structured songs. The resulting onslaught was so impressive that Brooklyn MC Beans immediately asked Holy Fuck to be his backing band at Coachella Festival in Indio, California.Since then, the ride has not slowed a bit, and given how good-natured and overlooked Borcherdt and Walsh have been in their indie careers, it’s hard not to feel anything but pride at these events.