The Sounds Of Holy Hive

Bruce Von Stiers

I can't help but think of the soft and gentle tones of a 70's pop/rock ballad or two when listening to Holy Hive.

Holy Hive is a folk / soul trio based in Brooklyn, New York. Paul Spring is the lead vocalist and guitarist. Homer Steinweiss is the trio's drummer and Joe Harrison is on bass.

The trio has just released their first full length album. Titled Float Back To You, the album is chock full of mellow and cool soul infused tunes.

The album was produced by Homer Steinweiss and recorded at The Diamond Mine in Queens, New York. It has twelve songs and a play time of twenty-nine minutes. It is being released on the Big Crown Records label.

Joe has played on an album by The Sha La Das. And he played guitar for Taylor Swift's album, Lover. A much sought after drummer, Homer has played on albums by Amy Winehouse, The Jonas Brothers and Bruno Mars. Paul had made a name for himself as a folk artist before helping form this current group.

Besides Joe, Homer and Paul, there were a few other people who played on the album. Mary Lattimore played the harp, while Leon Michels was on sax, organ and piano. Dave Guy played the trumpet and Nick Movshon was on bass. Nick also did backing vocals on one song. Shannon Wise provided some backing vocals and Paul's wife, Sophia Heymans was on piano for one song. Along with a solo career, Mary has played on albums by Kurt Vile, Meg Baird and Steve Gunn and the score for a couple of documentaries. Leon has recorded for Dr. John and Lana Del Ray along with the group he founded the El Michels Affair. Leon also co-founded the Big Crown Records label. You can hear Dave's trumpet in the song, Uptown Funk. Aside from recording with a whole slew of major names, he is in Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and can be seen on the Tonight Show in Jimmy Fallon's house band, The Roots. Besides his work with The Dap Kings, Nick has worked with Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse and The Black Keys. Shannon is the vocalist for The Shacks.

Additional people who helped out on the album were Ray Mason, Rita Kovtun, Elizabeth Pupo-Walker and Michael Leonhart. Ray, who has played on albums by Meghan Trainor and Alicia Keys, plays the trombone on a couple of songs. Michael has worked with Rufus Wainwright and They Might Be Giants. On this album he plays the flugelhorn and trumpet. Elizabeth is on congas for one song. She has numerous credits including being a member of the Latin jazz group La Buya which also features someone whose work I've reviewed a few times, Jessica Lurie. Primarily a photographer and writer, Rita does backing vocals for one song.

Broom is the first song. It has a soft and gentle tone. There is some cool horn music, along with a light guitar and nice drum background. The vocals are smooth and fluid.

A toe tapping pop groove can be found in Hypnosis. It's kind of hard for me to describe but the song kind of makes me think of some of lighter 70's pop/rock tunes.

Blue Light has a mellow touch with a bit of R & B.

Oh I Miss Her So has a definite 70's R & B flavor to it.

In the title track, Float Back To Me, there is a rock / blues guitar and drum blend.

The 60's British pop band Honeybus had a song called Be Thou By My Side. There is a pretty decent cover of the song on this album.

Didn't You Say is a song that might well have been a 60's pop hit.

Embers To Ash is a kind of bluesy pop song with interesting vibe and organ music in the background.

Cynthia's Celebration is a great pop /rock instrumental.

The band does a nice rock styled cover of the classic Irish folk tune, Red Is the Rose.

You Will Always Be By My Side Forever has a strong drum presence backing mild, yet somewhat yearning vocals.

The album closes with Sophia's Part. It, like most of the other songs on the album, is a mild and gentle piece, with great music in the background and fluid, melodic vocals.

When I saw that The Holy Hive was listed as a folk /soul band, I had a specific sound in mind for their music. But what I heard was a lot different than what I had envisioned. The band's sound, to me, is deeply rooted in the 60's and early 70's pop rock era. Not that it's a bad thing, either. In fact, it was quite a pleasant change from what I had imagined their music would be like. The music was very well done, the vocals were fluid and the backing vocals added an extra touch to the songs.

Float Back To You is now available.

Check out the Holy Hive page on the Big Crown Records web site for additional information. https://bigcrownrecords.com/artists/holy-hive/ There is also a band page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/holyhive/

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© 2020 Bruce E Von Stiers