40 seconds into the track Crown of Holly by Charlotte's (North Carolina) Hectorina amid pearly guitar picking, patterned drums, and fable-esque fever dream lyrics a surprising bass half note pops out at you. Shortly after, Dylan Gilbert waxes poetic about "a small swarm of bees, 3 or 4 helping each other, place a crown of holly on my head... on my head". As you follow this three piece art band down their rabbit hole the song ebbs and flows and eventually erupts into a cyclone of sounds. It is a beautifully trippy multi colored art piece.
Hectorina is Dylan Gilbert (guitar / main vocals), John Harrel III (drums) and Zachary Jordan (bass) and have been painting outside musical lines since 2012. While I may call what they do as art rock, their blend of music stirs in post rock, proto punk and progressive rock colors too (just to name a few).
Like in Crown of Holly their art rock can flow into the abstract and in 2015 the boys teamed up with local performers Caitlyn Swett (Triptych Collective), Mike Gentry (Mall Goth), Chris O'Neil (Shakespseare Carolina) and set designer Jon Prichard (Sinergismo) to turn their 2013 rock opera Collywobble into a theatrical production.
Crown of Holly is from Hectorina's 4th full length album "Muck" that drops June 1st of this year (2018) and is currently available as a digital and vinyl pre-order on their Bandcamp page (see below). Produced by Daniel Hodges at Fidelitorium it's trippy prose is about something. From the band: "Written during the 2016 election cycle, this album is inspired by the sound and attitudes of 90's post-rock, post punk and classic pop rock. Muck explores repetition, despondence and trying to find peace of mind in this murky modern America."
- Robb Donker, American Pancake