FM PREMIERE: HOLY ‘57’s Striking New Shoegazing Release Explores Hyper Reality

By Frank Bell

Alex Mankoo, better known now as his alter-ego Holy ‘57 is a London-based songwriter and producer. He first emerged in the summer of 2015 with the laid-back groove of Island Kids. The song, which gained critical acclaim now has over 250k streams on Spotify, and paved the way for his first EP entitled H

H was the first in a series of EP releases: H, O, L and Y, the latter due later this year following a two year hiatus. Mankoo took a break from music following the death of his Grandmother with whom he was incredibly close, and was a source of inspiration for his musical workings to date. Instead, he focused on finishing his PHD. 

Returning now with the final instalment of his EP series, Holy ‘57 releases Hyper-Real on 21st August. Mixed by David Newfeld, it’s a step away from his earlier work with an edgier, crossover feel. Exploring the idea of hyperreality and simulation after death, the instrumentation blends seamlessly with his unique vocal, masterfully partnered with his exploration of electronic sounds. 

Mankoo reveals: “I wrote most of Y in the wake of my grandmother’s death, so the idea of posthumous memory played a big part in shaping the songs. I find it really interesting how memory operates as a sort of reconstructed version of the past through the lens of our minds in the present. Posthumous memory can sometimes iron out complexities that existed when a person was alive, and it becomes almost like a simulation of the person.”