Hearing Bono on the radio more than once recently bemoaning all the (metaphorical) noise that the music industry produces these days - noise that a relatively small, unknown and unsuccessful band like U2 have to push their way through in order to be heard - you wonder what noise is it that he finds so burdensome. Could it be that actually he just means choice?

Perhaps he’s referring to the likes of Hold/Transfer, who had the cheek this week to release their debut album through bandcamp on a name your price deal. It’s a self-titled album that the band have been working on for two years, and here they are just making it available to everyone and anyone, and in the process quite possibly preventing U2 from being heard. Seriously - who do these guys think they are?

As Hold/Transfer aren’t mates with Tim Cook they don’t have the ability to download their album directly to your auditory cortex and limbic system, so that means you’ll have to make the active choice to download it. And here’s why you should.

Over the course of its 13 tracks, Hold/Transfer navigates a path through shoegaze, dream pop and a whole field of beautiful textures, quite a few of which give a warm retro feeling (of the 90s kind). The opening instrumental track New Strangers sets the scene before Hang Tight and Wait cuts in with a little hint of a wave of production sound that reminds me of The Boo Radleys during their early years (that could just be a co-incidence though - I have been writing about the Boos a lot lately). A touch of slide lights up The Glass; Subways slackers along lazily on a gently rippling melody. Then there’s the guitar riff that flows through the whole of Heroic Amounts, itself sandwiched between the reverb-heavy Sofia and the dreamier Let’s Do It Anyway, which drops in a surprising and beautiful chord change over the chorus.

The album ends with the beguiling Spoken For, which blends spoken word samples with mournful guitars and lyrics, and then drips the resultant mix out at a dangerously leisurely pace.

take me home, I'm more than ready to go

Hold/Transfer are:

Michael Taggart - Vocals/Guitar/Bass/Keys/Drums

Kurt Lusas - Vocals/Guitar/Bass

Heather Cinqmars - Vocals/Guitar

Jeff Gordon - Samples/Drums/Keys

Michael Morrissey - Guitar/Keys

You can find Hold/Transfer on Soundcloud.

Also, seek them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/holdtransfer