It was 10 years ago, in a house on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, that Ives Sepulveda Minho and Manuel Parra started playing music together, and The Holydrug Couple was effectively born. A decade later, they've made Hyper Super Mega, an album that represents the culmination of everything they've learned in their years as a band.
If Hyper Super Mega feels like a classic pop record, that’s because Sepulveda and Parra spent much of the recording process thinking about the classic pop records of the '60s and '70s. Masterpieces by bands like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Fleetwood Mac were all reference points, not always explicitly in sound, but certainly in spirit. The duo approached the mythos of the "classic album" from their own inimitable psych-pop perspective, hoping to make a record that felt authentically like The Holydrug Couple that could fit into the same canon. By that criterion, Hyper Super Mega is a massive success. All the elements that made the band's previous albums Noctuary and Moonlust great are distilled to their purest essence and rendered in obsessive detail.
The Holydrug Couple began in Santiago, Chile in 2008, a little over a half-decade after Ives and Manu met for the first time. The two young friends hadn't seen each other in a few years when Manu texted Ives to tell him that he bought a drum kit. They started jamming, and a week later, the band was formed. A flurry of songwriting activity followed, culminating in 2011's Ancient Land EP and 2013's Noctuary, both released on Sacred Bones. Moonlust boldly treads territory that those earlier psych-indebted recordings only hinted at, especially the dreamy French movie soundtracks of the '70s and '80s and the discography of Serge Gainsbourg.
The Holydrug Couple have done a lot of growing since their first release with Sacred Bones Records in 2011. The “couple”, consisting of Ives SepÃºlveda and Manuel Parra recorded Noctuary in Santiago, Chile. They put together a home studio and recorded the entire album themselves, from start to finish. After four months of obsessively working and barely leaving the house, Ives emerged with a final product of which he band is truly proud. While Awe and their Ancient Land EP had a bluesier, woodsy sound, Noctuary plays out like a slow motion 60’s beach party dream that you never want to wake from. This is not your typical motorik beat kraut album; rather it sounds more like a breezy take on Love or Beau Brummels.
Statement From the Artists: “Two forest travelers, united by the will form the Holydrug Couple. With a minimal formation they managed to create a bluesy exploration, which takes the audience to a psychedelic trance. Like the rhythm of a train, with mid-tempo songs, they provide the audience a dense and misty energy. Without caring much about the contemporary scene they stand up for their own fascination about blues heroes, indian raga and hidden arts.”
Ok, so English isn’ t their first language. But the jist is pretty basic— these two soul brothers got together in Santiago, Chile, started jamming and formed a pretty serious spiritual bond. Part of the ever growing Chilean Psychedelic underground scene (FoÌˆllakzoid, La Banda, The Cindy Sisters, La Hell Gang, This Schafferson Jetplane, et al.), Holydrug offer up more pop structured/ vocal heavy tunes than their mates FoÌˆllakzoid despite the fact that Ives plays in both bands. We hope to bring both bands over for a US tour next year.