AS REAL AS IT GETS - The Electronic Indie Pop Duo “Holiday Mountain” Unabashedly True To Their Music
Updated: Mar 4, 2020
Power of any kind of music is a direct reflection of the artist creating it, and in a world where change is inevitable, talent is plenty, distraction is pervasive and survival costs, it is not the triumph that the artist seeks, but the struggle they go through, what matters more. Half Step Rock, in an exclusive interview with Holiday Mountain, a New York City based indie pop duo that originally formed in Boston and spent time developing in Austin, explored the unconventional journey of the band, fronted by a powerhouse female vocalist, Laura Patiño paired with producer Zander Kagle.
It would be only fair to say that Holiday Mountain is breaking some serious stereotypes in the industry by trying to make a footing in a male dominant environment and leaving behind an ardent fandom in Austin and relocating to New York, in an attempt to reinvent themselves.
“My first experience with sexism in music happened at age of 14. In our media and creative culture, it seems like women are first given attention or appreciation for how they look, usually followed by how nice they are. Women aren't as openly celebrated for being assertive, dominant, edgy, loud, and provocative compared to men. It's not that women aren't appreciated at all for these things, it's just that they have to face a larger amount of criticism, doubt, and backlash along the way if they choose to embrace and express that. The music industry requires the development of a lot of those characteristics like being tough and assertive, and sometimes when a woman acts this way it gets confused for bitchiness or hostility. It can be exhausting, but I think the world is changing for the better and the majority of people I've met in music are embracing equality,” shared Laura.
“When we first started this band we were very young. We went from a band who had a lot to learn about songwriting and recording. Over the years we learned how to write the songs we always wanted, and learned to produce and record ourselves. What kept us going is the growth we desired, each album has been a goal to see if we could create something better than the last. At this point the next goal is uncertain, but we are both interested in the relationship between film and music, I think the next challenge would be the combination of those mediums,” added Zander.
After finding inspiration in Shia LaBeouf, for their sophomore album exclusively premiered on Billboard in 2016, the duo is out with their new album ‘Miles and Miles’ and talking about the same Laura shared, “it was written over the past two years during our experience touring the US and ultimately moving from Austin, Texas to New York City. The album is very personal and documents a lot of the emotional processes of dealing with bigger life changes. The kind of responses we've received so far have been gratifying in the way that listeners have been telling us that the songs are personally helping them through their own challenging times. This means a lot as the songs we're born out of the personal need to find strength and control during a confusing part of our lives and it's satisfying in a deep way to know that some people find emotional comfort in the music.”
Having fed full-house audiences with their thunderous and fiery live performances, before moving to New York, Laura Patiño’s sense of music comes from punk, indie and electronic inspirations like Brody Dalle, Andrew Bird and Santigold, to name a few. “For me, all of these artists have a common thread of not really fitting into any one genre, and that's what I loved about it. It was a reflection for me that it was OK to not be able to fit myself into one box. I hope to bring that same sense of creative inspiration to listeners, that you can make whatever you want and find your path, but it's a hard road full of ups and downs. As cliché as it may sound, all the struggles I've faced have really taught me that what matters most is the love you've fostered in your life. It's toxic to put too much value or expectations into how the world will perceive you or your art,” shared Laura.
As a young, vibrant and evolving band, Holiday Mountain is not only determined to take their music places but also persistent on remaining true to their strengths and emotions and transferring the same into their songs. How refreshing it is to let music enter our lives that came from a similar place in someone else’s life, created with the purpose of making a difference.
Mexico girl Laura Patiño’s take on local music scene and global industry : “I'm excited to see a lot of cool new electronic music happening in the US as well as the rise of producer-songwriter electronic duos, which is something I hadn't really seen until several years ago. It's a challenging time to be in the music industry in general, with technology constantly shifting. You can't put too much faith in any one platform, whether it's for music, social media, or press, because eventually it will be replaced by the next up and coming platform everyone is flocking to. I appreciate that now you really can make whatever you want and project it to the world easily, but just as easily you can lose your audience with an algorithm change. I think we're really in the beginning of a technological revolution and I'm excited to see where the music industry will be in 10 years.”
Artist picks from the album Miles and Miles: “Not Gone” and “Home”
“Don't let your desires or expectations for your path consume you. Keep your head down and work hard, but allow life to take you someplace unexpected. Make music for yourself. If your music is not honest and doesn’t make you feel better, then it won’t affect anyone else positively,” from Laura and Zander.
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