Holy Shit - Stranded At Two Harbors
With a revolving door of collaborators that include Ariel Pink, Girls’ Christopher Owens and John Maus, Matt
Fishbeck’s Holy Shit is ground zero for the West Coast’s lauded pop idiosyncrasies in recent years. The Harvard
graduate and devout gondolier emerged as Holy Shit in 2006 with Stranded at Two Harbors, a collaboration with
Ariel Pink that foreshadowed the latter’s work in Haunted Graffiti, and garnered a fervent cult following for Fishbeck’s singular approach to labyrinthine home production and chilling melodies. Later EPs appeared on imprints like Fat Possum, and recent years have found Holy Shit touring with Beach House. Fishbeck’s artistic character is further revealed by unusual projects: he contributed to a book on the venerable 1980s English pop group Felt and last year brandished a cover of “Woke Up Sticky,” a solo single from The Only Ones’ Peter Perrett, at an exhibition opening of visual artist Ryan McGinley in San Francisco.
A latticework of understated percussion and tape hiss throughout, Stranded at Two Harbors on the front-end
veers from the bristling new wave intensity of “Tokyo Gamblers” to the poignant psychedelic pop of “My Whole
Life Story.” On the flip, Fishbeck’s pop adaptation runs wild. The damaged and buoyant thrill of “I Don’t Need Enemies” even puns on the English music weeklies, with an Anglo-inflected final line, “... or Melody Maker for that matter!” Production and surface aesthetic traits aside, “The Castle” illuminates Fishbeck’s principle assets: evocative imagery set to deeply penetrating melodies with that perfect guitar lead to match.