Finding Holy Visions in ‘Santa Barbara’

Holy Visions - Santa Barbara.
Photo Credit: Coup de Grace Studios.

What does Holy Visions’ Nick Schubert know about evoking the sunny, carefree California vibe? He’s from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where even on the days it’s sunny, it certainly isn’t carefree.

Well, it turns out he knows plenty, and not just because Lake Michigan can seem like an ocean when you’re not paying attention.

“Santa Barbara,” which from the looks of it is his debut original track, comes off a bit like a fatter, more intense Miami Nights 1984. As with MN84, sunny pastels, major key hooks, and an 80s mood abound, but “Barbara” ultimately takes on a more frantic pace. As the song progresses, the drums freak out more and more as the synthesizers increase their anxiety.

Now that I think about it, perhaps this song is even more like California than I thought: It wears a pretty, carefree front as a way to hide an unbridled fear brewing beneath. In Miami, you’ll drown when the glaciers melt, which is horrible but is a fairly quick way to go. In California, though, the water’s drying up. Going thirsty makes people hallucinate and become increasingly desperate as their body loses its saline-water balance — and that all happens at a much slower clip than losing air underwater.

Perhaps Holy Visions didn’t expect for his music to evoke such a reaction, given the overall pleasant nature of the City of Santa Barbara. Regardless, it’s a strong kickoff to what I hope will be a fascinating career.

Check out the song below, available from Coup de Grace Studios:

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