Holy Ghost! @ Terminal 5

by Jen Hazen


They’re young. They’re super cute. And they’re coming to a dance floor near you. Actually, Holy Ghost! is probably on the verge of taking over every club’s sound system around the globe. Okay, not every club, but tons of them. I checked out the five-piece Brooklyn-based band Saturday night at Terminal 5, wondering how their infectious club beats would translate to a live stage performance. All I can say is: Holy shit! Holy Ghost! is one of my fave bands right now.  

I’m not a huge fan of club music, but these tracks transcend all of that. They’re simply light, optimistic pop tunes that creep up on you like Prozac. Think polished synth pop à la Erasure, a bit of edgy agitation à la Fischerspooner, and classic New Order. Now sprinkle that concoction with disco stardust. Voila! That’s HG.

Originally just two DJs, Alex Frankel & Nick Millhiser, Holy Ghost! formed in 2007. They’ve been friends since the age of seven! (Aww…) And they’ve established quite a following over the years. In 2010, the duo released an EP, Static on the Wire, and they continue to receive major praise for their remixes of tunes by MGMT, Cut Copy, and Moby, among others. When given the chance to open for LCD Soundsystem’s tour in Summer 2010, Frankel and Millhiser quickly realized they needed extra bandmates. Regardless of the headcount, Holy Ghost!’s self-titled debut (out April 12 on DFA) is on serious repeat at my apartment / walk-in closet. Yes, I live in a closet. I store shoes in my stove.

Anyway, HG played one of my fave songs, “Hold On,” with its fuzzed-out vibrating synths, electronic handclaps, and warm swells of analog ambiencejust for me. Okay, no, they didn’t, but I can pretend. Interestingly, the tune almost sounded better than the album’s version. How the hell they bring that slick production perfection to the stage is beyond me. Who cares. More please! Then HG launched into “It’s Not Over.” So very New Order. And when vocalist Frankel wanders into falsetto territory during the chorus, I swear he’s channeling Andy Bell. So gorgeous.

Did I mention how cute these guys are? Sure, but let’s discuss further. Frankel was wearing a faded jean jacket over a hoodie, and white denim. Yes, white denim. Why am I telling you this? Because if you saw such cuteness it would be seared into your brain, too. Let’s talk about how the guys behind the keyboards dance a little bit. Hot. And I should also mention that Holy Ghost! comes off as completely unaffected on stage. Frankel said “hi” to the band’s parents in the audience and thanked everyone several times for coming to the show. So, surprise! I highly reco checking out Holy Ghost! And if you do? Promise me you’ll dance your ass off.  [Jen Hazen]


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