Holy Høly, the artistic moniker of Ewa Baran, is a versatile composer, pianist, bassist, and vocalist renowned for her dynamic projects such as Regresja (acid jazz), Superid (post-rock), and She Fits Me (electro/downtempo/trip-hop). Affiliated with the Barcelona label Diffuse Reality Records and the Italian Cultural Bridge, Holy Høly is currently crafting her solo album, a downtempo electronica blend with trip-hop, glitch, nu jazz, and smooth vocals. Additionally, she collaborates on an ambient album with Daniel Löwen and has contributed to the “Taki Pejzaż” project and various soundtracks.

NUN, fronted by Olaf Karbowiak with Magdalena Kaspryszyn, is a pioneering force in the Polish electro scene. NUN’s association with major labels like EMI, Universal London, and Substream, coupled with performances at VIVA award ceremonies and airplay on MTV and 4Fun, solidified their position in the music industry. After a significant hiatus, NUN made a robust return in 2023 with singles “POISON”, “HIDE,” and “BITWA”.

From The Ashes”, released on June 21st, 2024, is a profound collaborative effort between NUN and Holy Høly. This track marks an evocative melding of their distinct musical styles, serving as a prelude to NUN’s upcoming album “Escape From The Forest”. With NUN being the song owner and Holy Høly contributing his smooth vocal and deft Rhodes playing, this song is a testament to their shared artistic vision and prowess. As a single, it captures the collaboration between two experienced artists, both contributing their own expertise and innovative ideas.

The melody at the beginning of the song is both eerie and captivating, creating a haunting atmosphere right away. This introduction is known for its deep atmosphere, pulling listeners into a sonic environment that is both personal and vast. The haunting allure is palpable, creating a sense of anticipation. At the 23-second mark, a rhythmic beat enters, subtly augmenting the already rich soundscape without overpowering it. This beat is both driving and understated, providing a steady backbone that supports the unfolding musical narrative. The precise harmony between the rhythm and the haunting tune showcases the precise skill that was put into the creation of “From The Ashes”.

Høly’s vocals emerge shortly after, effortlessly flowing over the beat and the haunting melody. Adding an emotional depth to the track is her soulful and gentle voice. The vocals flow smoothly, matching the song’s pace without being hurried or excessively dramatic. The integration of Holy Høly’s vocals with the instrumental components is seamless, demonstrating the thoughtful collaboration between her and NUN. Her contribution is significant, as it not only complements the existing elements but also elevates the entire composition with its subtle power and nuance.

As the song progresses, each element continues to flow together harmoniously. The vocals, beat, and haunting melody are orchestrated skillfully, resulting in a captivating listening experience. The production carefully maintains a delicate equilibrium, ensuring that each element stands out without outshining the rest. At the 1:39 minute mark, the beat decreases, leaving only Holy Høly’s gentle vocals and the captivating melody that lingers. This instance of simplicity holds great strength, focusing on the emotional heart of the song and allowing the listener time to fully grasp the impact of the vocals.

The beat returns at the 2:03 mark, with a slight intensification, bringing a new dynamic to the song. This heightened feel re-engages the listener and introduces a fresh layer of complexity. The careful reintroduction of the beat demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of musical dynamics, ensuring that the song remains engaging throughout its duration. The contrast between the minimalist interlude and the beat’s return enhances the overall emotional trajectory of the track. This section exemplifies the thoughtful arrangement that characterizes “From The Ashes,” showcasing the artists’ ability to create a compelling and varied sonic journey.

At 2:29, the beat fades away again, allowing the haunting melody and vocals of Holy Høly to become the focus. The fluctuation of musical components adds to the song’s dynamic framework, avoiding monotony. This haunting yet soulful tone is upheld till the song comes to an end, creating a lasting impression of emotional depth and sonic complexity for listeners. The interaction among the various components remains fascinating, engaging the listener in a highly immersive journey. This conclusion is both satisfying and thought-provoking, prompting the listener to reflect on this experience. The smooth incorporation of Holy Høly’s input with NUN’s production results in a cohesive and captivating musical work.

Holy Høly

In general, “From The Ashes” serves as proof of the artistic collaboration between NUN and Holy Høly. The track demonstrates how they can combine their unique styles to form a cohesive song that surpasses the contributions of each individual. “From The Ashes” sets a high bar as a sneak peek of NUN’s forthcoming album, hinting at further groundbreaking and engaging partnerships. This song showcases the skills of both artists and also emphasizes the possibility of more creative projects together in the future.

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