A series of serendipitous events allows Exit Stencil to excitedly present
you with “Holy City” --- the first full-length album from Charleston,
South Carolina’s Company. While the full telling of the story would run
many pages, for brevity’s sake, here is the CliffsNotes version: Catholic
grade school friends Brian Hannon (guitar, vocals, songwriter) and Kelly
Grant (drums) both end up living in Charleston, SC following their
respective stints in college, reconnect, and start playing music together.
They play some shows; get introduced to Band of Horses who in turn take
them out on tour and to SXSW; while in Austin they meet Matthew Johnson
from Fat Possum who agrees to put out their first EP (released January
4th, 2011); they do some more touring, including a stint with Matt Pond
PA, and eventually get introduced to us here at Exit Stencil.
Holy City illustrates the varied and masterful songwriting abilities of
Brian Hannon, with some songs akin to the lo-fi warmth and intimacy
produced by the other Carolina in the 1990s. While other songs create
gentle, psychedelic-Americana sound collages evoking the likes of Band of
Horses or Mojave 3. Consistent throughout the album, however, is the
lyrical acumen displayed by Hannon, as he touches on the timeless themes
of love, loss, aging, and more. Delivered with cadences and phrasing
which at times, is reminiscent of the James Mercer (Shins), but always
maintaining an earnestness and authenticity distinctly unique.
Holy City chronicles Company from their earliest incarnations, with some
songs being performed solely by Hannon (Waiting for Saints to Arrive), to
some more recent recordings as a full band.
It is with heavy heart that we disclose that drummer Kelly Grant, who was
such an integral part to the creation of this record and project, passed
away unexpectedly prior to the release of Holy City.