Exclusive Single Premiere: Have/Hold “The Bells” (2017)

How do you begin to describe the sound of Melbourne’s Have/Hold? They’re transient, seemingly in this state of emotion-driven flux, that oscillates between post rock and nearly melodic hardcore moments, between stadium rock and indie pop. The four-piece have teased with tastes of their upcoming sophomore record (a follow up from 2015’s King Salt) with single “Stoic”. Today, we’re super excited to share the second taste of the upcoming album with you with single, “The Bells”.

Brace yourselves. This is the most emotive I’ve seen the group at, a nearly Radiohead infused piano ballad, a series of crescendos and emotional lows that’s going to leave you moved. Singer/songwriter Luke Shields wrote the song in an all too public moment of self-reflection and mourning, “a seemingly innocuous moment in time made exponentially profound by the recent loss of the [my] grandfather”. He says, “achingly bored and gazing longingly out the window at a dead end job, [I] spied a pigeon whose fate had been cruelly cut short by a wrathful crow. The grizzly interaction brings about an exorcism of why the world around us is so pitiless.”

This heavy rumination of Luke is accompanied by his lilting piano playing and unwavering voice, punctuated by militant drums, courtesy of brother/drummer Ryan Shields. As the track reaches its crescendo, bassist Reece Choucair goes from melodic bass to a compelling force, paralleled by guitarist Liam Davies‘ dynamic string work.

As the band explores the boundaries surrounding alternative, nearly ‘art’ rock, they’re breaking away from crashing, heavier sections, instead building tension through lamentation and sheer dramatic finesse. Have a listen, feel some feels, see what you think about this explorative stage Have/Hold have reached.

“The Bells” will launch at Yah Yah’s this Saturday with support from the inimitable Neighborhood Youth and newcomers Castilles. Grab tickets here.