Catacomb Saints is a duo of songwriter Neil Holyoak and synth artist Devon Beggs. On their Bandcamp bio and Facebook ‘About’ section it states “elevator music for the end of the world”. After listening to their debut  EP Cruel as the Grave I’d definitely not mind having this on my end of world elevator ride soundtrack. The EP was self-released on June 14th and it is made up of four rich and dark soundscapes.  

We wanted to learn a little more about the duo so we asked them to pick the three albums that have influenced their music. These are their picks.

Devon – David BowieScary Monsters

I grew up loving David Bowie and he’s been a big influence for me in general. The first Bowie album I seriously got into was Scary Monsters. Some of the songs are so gorgeous and uplifting, while others are almost nightmarish, making the whole thing a kind of phantasmagoric trip. Each song follows its own logic and I try to take that same approach to making music.

Neil – Townes Van Zandt Our Mother the Mountain

When I was recording my first album Holy Oak with Dave Bryant at The Pines in Montreal, Dave told me I reminded him of Townes Van Zandt. I’d never heard Townes Van Zandt before then, and Dave played me his copy of this record.

This album is like a fever dream, wasted and strange. Townes sings like a ghost, and I was captivated by the mysticism of the lyrics. At the time I was reading a lot of French surrealist poetry like Rimbaud, Baudelaire and Paul Eluard, and this album captures the same feeling as that poetry.

Both of us – The Smiths – Hatful of Hollow

“Whatever inanities he may postulate, we cannot overlook the fact that he has written a vast and extraordinary catalogue, which has enhanced the lives of his many fans beyond recognition.” – Nick Cave on Morrissey

Both of our early exposures to The Smiths came from the same compilation album, Hatful of Hollow. It’s interesting to pick a compilation record as a most influential “The Smiths” album, especially given Morrissey’s vocal dislike for the compilation genre as evidenced in the song “Paint a Vulgar Picture” off of Strangeways, Here We Come.

This album feels like a search for acceptance, and in Morrissey’s search for acceptance somehow the listener feels accepted no matter how marginalized they may feel in their day to day lives. The fact that we both felt connected to this record, having grown up in very different places, is quite remarkable and we try to create that kind of kinship in our work.

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