“Teetering on the edge of catchiness and constantly teasing and dodging the logical next note.”
– 7.1/10 Pitchfork
As it was completed in early 2020, Love Touched Time and Time Began to Sweat comes from the not-too-distant time of physical contact with friends and family, and the familiar cycle of rehearsals, shows, and DJ sets. However, the writing and recording of this album was fraught with determination to reshape the group’s approach to making music. The album features a slew of new strategies for the band including their first guest contributions (V.V. Lightbody and Spencer Ouellette of REZN), clear vocal delivery, and a newfound embrace of very minimal instrumentation. Frequently deemed a group of “art rockers”, the band has long held an interest in pursuing transgressive, oblique strategies in their writing and recording (ex: voice memos through pickups, canned air solos, samples of night walks through the country), however their newest album wastes no time in conjuring the wild but essential heart of the band.
The album’s intro/ battering ram Italics opens by referencing Pylon’s Stop – “No rock and roll… No more black and white daydreams”. Inspired by the band’s collective hardship of enduring a massive hit and run by a drunk driver after a performance in 2019, the song sets an aggressive, albeit sincere and heartfelt tone for the rest of the album. Sharing this moment of extreme fragility, subsequent depression, and creative resurgence at the head of recording the album, what resulted was wrapped in the paradox of dissociation vs. connectivity.
The album’s namesake comes from the story from the Ramayana in which Love (Ravana) confronts Time (Kala)- its author Valmiki writes while gazing into a pool of water in his hand. Time, a Grim Reaper-looking figure, vows to take Ravana to hell, stripping him from home, loved ones, and memories; vanquishing him to eternal silence. Ravana scoffs at his threat of doom, declaring Time a fraud, a marketplace of sorrow, and a well of lies. Beyond Time’s power, “Love Touched Time and Time Began to Sweat” and the cloaked figure shriveled to dust, crying that “everything is covered in a fine dust”.
A central current of love flowing throughout the tragic, ephemeral, Western landscape is the central theme of Pool Holograph’s recent offering. The medium of rock music has long been a conduit for the spiritual mystery in American lore and whether through its brutality or tenderness, Pool Holograph engages in both its tendencies of tradition and abjection. Love Touched Time not only presents the band’s urgency in our state of moral panic and collective heartbreak, but also their desire to transcend into timelessness.