Daily Dose: Chris Staples, “Holy Moly”

Music Features Chris Staples
Daily Dose: Chris Staples, “Holy Moly”

Daily Dose is your daily source for the song you absolutely, positively need to hear every day. Curated by the Paste Music Team.

Seattle musician and former indie-rock frontman Chris Staples recorded his most recent album, Holy Moly, in his garage over the course of a year. But the resulting songs feel more suited to the edge of a cliff. In the title track, the most recent single from the record (out June 28 on Barsuk Records), Staples seems to gaze out upon some evolving piece of land, unable to fully process both the physical and abstract effects of time. “I can’t remember when that fire went out / but holy moly, this place has changed,” he exclaims.

In much the same way Kevin Morby recently used the phrase “Oh My God” to articulate a certain bewilderment, “Holy Moly” is for Staples a means of declaring that strange mix of confusion, awe and fear that’s practically incessant in 2019.

“Holy Moly, as an expression, communicates a sort of disbelief,” Staples wrote in the album’s liner notes. “I feel like I see and hear a lot of things these days that I can barely believe. I find myself saying Holy Moly often.”

Indeed, it’s a relatable sentiment. “Holy Moly” finds Staples grooving out to the chaos, singing over a tumbling folk-rock tune that feels pleasant even as he urges, “Maybe it’s time we go.” The song’s disenchanted mood would’ve fit right in on Oh, Inverted World, but there’s a bit more optimism on Holy Moly than on The Shins’ 2001 debut. Holy Moly leads the listener on a twisted ride, but Staples promises some hope at the end of it all.

“What I hope to communicate with Holy Moly is that a human life is full of possibility,” he says. “There is so much goodness that you can will into existence. I feel like people are resigned to a type of inevitable hopelessness in our culture. Why rule out the possibility that things can get better?”

Listen to “Holy Moly” below. If you like what you hear, you can preorder Holy Moly over on the Barsuk website.

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