How To Kill A Butterfly

by Band Of Holy Joy

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Steve Potter
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Steve Potter Been away from the Joy for too long. Was a fan many moons ago and then stuff got in the way ... but back now, great album and really lovely package. I'll be back for more. Favorite track: The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs.
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Exotic Pylon Records EP02

“And the magic of the land / lay in the madness of the light”

Conceived in a New Cross squat by Newcastle émigré Johny Brown in 1984, the band have endured bruises, battles and numerous line-ups without ever losing the magical essence that has abided at the heart of their emotional worries and philosophies. Their idiosyncratic mangling of punk, folk, Brechtian vaudeville cabaret and occult channelling of the strangeness of everyday life opens up warmly wild anarchic spaces, as any participant at a Holy Joy gig will testify to.

But with renewed strength and stability, How to Kill a Butterfly represents a new phase, practically a rebirth in the band’s history. Never without grace, Band of Holy Joy are now in command of a more sophisticated and subtle emotional pallet than ever before, giving full sonic reign to previously submerged psychogeographical concerns. Butterfly explores a weird Northern hinterland where the rural and industrial meet delving deeply into the landscape and throwing arms around the dark with a mixture of terror and bliss. These new songs unfold slowly, subtly – creeping up on you, taking their time but not averse to kicking in a door or two if necessary.

How to Kill a Butterfly is the finest album of Band of Holy Joy’s long, crazy existence. So far.

[Jonny Mugwump, Exotic Pylon Records]


"Rebirth full of wonder and awe."
Andy Cowan, Mojo

"I hesitate to mention any Holy Joy history because although this is recognisably a BOHJ album it never feels like a band with a 27 year (on and off) legacy. This is the here and now and the current line up is joyously alive and inventive."
Simon Heavisides, The Big Takeover

"Still crafting febrile symphonies for the lost."
Ian Gittins, eMusic

"How to Kill a Butterfly by Band of Holy Joy, what a brilliant album. "The Repentant" manages to be sad, harrowing and funny all at the same time. "
Irvine Welsh, The Independent

"A cabaret attitude and a distinct occult flavor."

"Oxymorons of beauty, grime, darkness and light abound."
Bryony Hegarty, Louder Than War

"So I have a new album of the year – and one that has presented me with a degree of procrastination greater then any other I’ve listened to so far in 2011."
Simon, Beat Surrender

"stark. gorgeous. lyrically, and musically. a record that looks to a future, so very quiet. carrion crows nesting among the power lines. a world without motorways, where the roadkill’s not dead, just sleeping."
marxsbeard, Cows Are Just Food

"The stunning "Observer’s Book of Bird's Eggs" is like nothing you'll hear this year."
Jack Rabid, allmusic

"So, is it punk music? Frankly I don’t give a shit if it is or isn’t. Just go and buy this cd and allow the Band of Holy Joy take you into their world."

"Raw, and honest, and sweet even when grotesque and surreal, like butterflies nibbling on the carcasses of piranhas."
Larissa, From A High Horse

"The band provides haunting, atmospheric backing, adding to the unconventional aura around this collection."
Andy Barnes, Mudkiss Fanzine


released October 29, 2011

Andy Astle – guitars
Christopher Brierley – violin
Johny Brown – vocals
William J. Lewington – drums
James Stephen Finn – bass and synths
Inga Tillere – visuals

Alex and Mauro from the band Jonny Cola and the A Grades – backing vocals; Jen and Lucy from the band Something Begining With L – backing vocals; Jon Clayton – cello; Tim Melia – logistical visions.

Artwork by Inga Tillere. Photography by Jānis Tillers.



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Band Of Holy Joy London, UK

Margin walkers and midnight drifters, Band of Holy Joy have wandered liminal landscapes of their own making for 3 decades now. The weirdness and wildness of the landscape they stagger through, the askew vision like a crash between Coleridge, Brecht and David Peace, the literary allusions and poetry, the strangeness of it all. A cultural piracy raiding doomed melancholy and gentrified mediocrity. ... more


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