Canadian electro-rock outfit Holy Fuck play dance music without modern electronic equipment, instead preferring to use standard rock instrumentation as well as unconventional devices and machines. The group have received much acclaim for their ecstatic performances as well as their recordings, which hone their junk-shop aesthetic into accessible dance-rock songs. After debuting with the sprawling, Krautrock-inspired jams of their self-titled 2005 full-length, the group's sound became more accessible (and sometimes vocal-based) with subsequent releases such as 2016's Congrats.
The Toronto-based electronic collective Holy Fuck were formed in 2004 by Graham Walsh and Brian Borcherdt. Described as "blip-hoppers" and "a shabbily dressed Kraftwerk," Holy Fuck began creating lo-fi electronic noise music with old analog musical and non-musical instruments, including a 35mm film synchronizer. Without the use of laptops or other instruments common to early 21st century electronic music, they strove to re-create their chaotic, Casio-driven live presence on their albums, the first of which — a self-titled effort — appeared in 2005.
Known primarily for improvising on-stage with a variety of electronic devices strewn across a table and held together with duct tape, the two toured heavily and wrote tracks for their 2007 album, LP, while on the road. Featuring collaborations with Dave Newfield (Broken Social Scene) and Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy), the album received a Juno Award nomination for Alternative Album of the Year and earned a spot on the short list for the Canadian Polaris Music Prize. Former Enon drummer Matt Schulz joined the lineup in 2008, while Holy Fuck wrapped up a well-received tour with M.I.A.
The full band returned in 2010 with a third album, Latin, its first to include bassist Matt McQuaid. Boasting higher production values than their previous efforts, the album received positive reviews and was placed on the long list for the Polaris Music Prize. The group toured steadily following the album's release, but other than a 2014 tour single, no new recordings surfaced until 2016. Congrats, Holy Fuck's fourth full-length album, appeared on Innovative Leisure in May of that year. A four-song EP titled Bird Brains followed in 2017. Moving further into the realm of polished production, Holy Fuck released their fifth full-length, Deleter, in 2020; the album also featured a handful of guest vocalists, including Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor on the single "Luxe." ~ Erik Leijon