Album Review : Mike Hughes ‘Holy Water’

Slick, high octane and intricate; ‘Holy Water’ is the new album lovingly crafted by Mike Hughes. With the infectious beat of Elvis Costello combined with the of the cool vibes of The Black Keys; the new wave, post punk style teams with blues-rock lyrics and has created a mesmerizing collection of songs. The album will draw you in, it’s heady brew both intoxicating and thrilling.

Opener ‘I’ve never met a girl like you’ grabs your attention with a thunderous chorus of clapping, then plummets you into a stormy sea of blues guitar. The song surrounds you with chunky but dynamic riffs which echo and fade, building emotion. The lyrics shine, with a knowing modernity that juxtaposes the 70s vibe of the music, a world where ‘king of the fistbumps’ sits comfortably with the more earnest ‘say my name’ refrain.

Hughes continues his ode to the 70’s with a modern twist through tracks like ‘Burning Up the Radio’. Synthesizers and a taut bass line produce a cheerful balance that imitates the peppy, pop-sound of the era, but Hughes isn’t afraid to slow proceedings down. Tracks such as ‘Depression’ and ‘How I Made My Million’ are dreamier affairs, swapping the thrusting bluster of the other tracks for a real sense of poignancy.

However, ‘Holy Water’ is the pinnacle track, bringing Hughes ‘Costello-esque’ skill with double entendre to the fore, and beautifully contrasting twee and sexual language (see his substitution of Teddy Bear with Sugar Daddy).

He’s finding heaven in between the sheets of a bed. With the Holy water being described as ‘’over him’’ and its ‘’happening again’’ the lust he feels is overpowering and he can’t escape it. The dreamy overtones are layered over strong guitar strums allowing light and shade to be subtly shine with the vocals.

In contrast ‘New Sensation’ slows the pace right down to tell a tale of unrequited love in the age of social media. The country styling is simplistic, yet highly effective and  beautifully highlights Hughes flawless vocals.

‘Every night I’m scrolling through your updates,
This modern love is hard to navigate’

This modern take on a tragic crush is refreshing. The sense of  hopelessness is easily recognisable to anyone who’s  stalked their crush on Facebook or Instagram. The days of chivalry and starry-eyed sweethearts has changed, Hughes has captured how millennials actually pursue love.
Hughes’ has produced a gorgeous array of tracks that straddle the vintage as easily as the painfully modern. Whilst ‘Holy Water’ seems to exist in a place ‘outside’ of time, it is an album you certainly need to make time for.

See Mike featuring on our Reyt Good Road Trip series


Part One

Reyt Good Road Trip : Episode 5 (Part One) With Mike Hughes

Welcome to episode 5 of the Reyt Good Music Road Trip In this Episode we discuss Trap 2 Touring with Kasabian Being signed for £20k Having to sue the label Changing band name Advice for bands before signing Getting back into it Solo Black Gold Media trading at Norton College Molasses oil PLEASE SUBSCRIBE For all the latest #ReytGoodMusic please subscribe to our channel.

Part Two

Reyt Good Road Trip : Episode 5 (Part Two) With Mike Hughes

Welcome to episode 5 of the Reyt Good Music Road Trip In this Episode we discuss :- Album number Two Supporting The Coral & Tramlines on Devonshire Green Being one of Joe Carnell’s xmas gig friends. What brings you to Sheffield?

FFO: Elvis Costello/Stereophonics/Pulp

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