At Hope’s Ravine is the debut album by Holy Esque. It is a primal, muscular, and utterly elemental work - a true epic in an era when such an epithet is overused. Here, bold is beautiful and the Glasgow quartet’s messages of hope and grief, escape and yearning are writ large across sonic skies. This is epic 21st century music occasionally reminiscent of Boy-era U2, early Simple Minds and Echo & The Bunnymen or perhaps more contemporary bands such The National, The Walkmen, Interpol and Titus Andronicus.
Holy Esque’s music is comprised of tones and textures. Peaks and troughs. Brush strokes and breaking waves of sound. Here chiming guitars interweave with emotive synth embellishments, and all shot through with Pat Hynes’ inimitable vocals, delivered from a dark place somewhere deep within his very centre. His is a voice that shifts from breathless, searching soul to an impassioned roar strong enough to topple buildings.
Holy Esque formed in Glasgow in 2011 . Frontman Hynes and keyboardist Keir Reid both grew up in post-war Lanarkshire new town East Kilbride, a place most usually known for its brutalist architecture, a predilection for utilising grey concrete that only becomes greyer in the rain and the spawning ground of The Jesus & Mary Chain. It was here that an overwhelming desire to escape was first strongly felt. It’s a theme that continues right through the band’s work today.