The happiest way of being sad. That’s what Hold Fast, the new EP by Polly and the Billets Doux.
Sure, it starts with ‘Hold Fast’, a foot stomping, groovy song that begs for the moonshine to be quaffed and the Dodge Charger to be fired up, stetson hat comfortably tipped to the front and the bolo tie in the place where it belongs (the bottom of a drawer with all those clothes you don’t want to ever see again). The guitar cheekily flirts with the girl next door, the bass gets the hips a-shaking, the drums keeps the knees moving in unison. It’s sunny, for just 4 minutes.
Although the pace is kept, ‘Factory whistle’ is a little more of a crestfallen one, with a bit of longing and nostalgia rarefying the atmosphere. Great guitar solo, love how the fret work is simply charming. It’s a sweet moment, getting you ready to face the facts, to understand that, as officer Jake Hoyt once said, it’s all about the “smiles and cries”. ‘Hymn song’ is sad and nostalgic, sounding off a bit of frustration in the uttered lamentation of “If I’d gave into your desires / would you come home?” Still, there’s something here that makes it a smiling cry. Polly Perry‘s voice is simply stunning in this one and the a cappella ending is the cherry on top.
This type of juxtaposition is what fuels this very solid EP. The clashing and converging of the sickly sweet and the acidic sour. ‘Fortune of war’ keeps the sense of longing in the air, looking straight in the mirror, seeing and admitting that the once pristine face is now slightly ravaged by time and a thousand broken hearts (both endured and inflicted). Are those crow feet the result of sleepless nights of fun or those long lost lovers who we’ve deleted from our memories? Time won’t tell…
Wonderful EP. Love the cover by the way, it does feel like you have to piece together yourself from time to time (sometimes more often than you’d care to admit).
Words: Sam J. Valdes Lopez