If you’re a follower of energetic and innovative pop music, chances are you’ll be a fan of Los Angeles duo, HOLYCHILD. Forging a way forward with their unique brand of electro-pop with a guitar thrown in for good measure, HOLYCHILD’s music playfully boasts catchy hooks, intelligent beats and gleaming production. I caught up with lead singer Liz Nistico the day after they kicked off their US tour and released their Mindspeak EP.
First up I have a big question; is Holychild capitalised, or lowercase?
That’s a great question, I was just thinking about that today. It’s capitalised but that’s a recent change that we’ve done within the past two weeks. It was all lowercase but basically we just wanted to make sure no one thought we were a Christian band. Not that we’re against that in any way, but that’s not what we are. So we wanted to do one or the other and for a while we were doing lowercase but it’s just so much more bold to do capitals, so we’ve recently changed to capitals and we’re making that change right now.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t listened to it before?
I’d describe it as experimental pop. Essentially we usually play music in pop form and our melodies are usually pretty poppy but we like to challenge the listener with different rhythms or different sounds and chord progressions and different words.
It’s cool! Me and Louie write all the music together and we are both influenced by a tonne of artists, who probably Sleigh Bells and Icona Pop are influenced by as well, so it makes sense and we have been compared to a lot of different people and every person says something different. So I’m kind of flattered by that because I definitely like making my own music and making a sound which is unique.
Your new EP Mindspeak was released yesterday so tell us about that – how long has that been in the making?
So we’ve been working on that for about ten or eleven months, and yeah it was released yesterday which is so exciting and I’m so happy. It’s four songs and they all have music videos we also shot. One video has been out for a while, ‘Playboy Girl’ and then for the remaining three I wrote and directed three music videos for the three songs and together they’re a small film. That will be out today I think! So it’s pretty exciting, we wrote those songs about ten months ago and then we recorded them over the summer and they all have something to do with the female inner culture from different angles.
So how come you chose to do four different videos for the tracks?
I think that we’re moving into a new age where people are consuming art in different ways and I really want this project to be more than just music. I mean to me it’s a lot more than just music, it has a message that I’m trying to get across and then also I think visuals are so important to music. YouTube is so great for music because a lot of the time people will hear music and then search for it on YouTube, so I like that visual component to music. So every song we’ve ever released has always had a music video along with it. I guess I’m just such a visual person that it’s important for me to accompany our music with visuals and with an experience.
‘Every Time I Fall’ which is the lead track from your EP has been doing really well online in the last few weeks. What’s that track about?
Yeah isn’t that cool?! It’s so nice that people have been receiving that well. Essentially, I guess, I’m a self-proclaimed feminist and I talk a lot about the contradictions that I feel just in general. Like I say ‘down with the objectification of women’, but then I want to be objectified from time to time, so I feel like a hypocrite. So ‘Every Time I Fall’ is pretty much about that. It’s essentially about being in a relationship and enjoying being called ‘girlfriend’ and enjoying making dinner and y’know, doing girlfriend things, but then being frustrated with myself for enjoying those gender stereotypes.
Do you write all of the music yourself or is it Louie who works on a lot of it?
The way it works out is that Louie and I write the songs half and half, so chord progression and the actual melody is completely half and half and then Louie takes care of all the production of the music and I take care of all of the lyrics.
That works quite well, you two fitting together like that then.
Oh my gosh, he’s the best person to work with for me, it’s so easy and fun, and obviously we get into arguments about things but I think it enhances the art even more.
And of course you kicked off your US tour yesterday which is just so exciting. What are your live shows like?
Yeah oh my gosh I’m so excited! It’s super fun. I mean I’m a dancer so I’m dancing all over the place! Louie and I are HOLYCHILD but we play live with a drummer. Louie is a drummer but his brother Martin is on drums when we play live. Martin is just a killer drummer. Then we have their high school friend on midi bass, so it’s just a really fun experience I think. Everyone’s dancing, our songs are pretty fun.
So that tour is absolutely massive! Have you got any plans for a tour of the UK?
Yeah I really want to go to the UK. I’ve actually have never been, so I definitely want to go to the UK and I used to live in Italy so I wanna hit up Europe as well. This tour ends in April, I think we’ll have a few more months in the US and then we’re trying to hit the UK and Europe in the summer time, likely July or August, that would be ideal.
That’s exciting! You might be over for some of the festivals then?
Are they in July or August? Yeah maybe we’ll do that then! We’re all trying to get over because the music scene in the UK is just so inspiring and that’s definitely something that I would like to be a part of, and soak up, so hopefully that’ll happen soon!
The Mindspeak EP is out now in the US and will be available to purchase in the UK soon.