Holy Mountain – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Review

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By Alex

Of course he’s releasing his new single the same week as Liam’s debut album. Of course he is. It’s so petty it’s kind of brilliant. For those who thought the Gallagher rivalry was perpetuated solely by the younger brother, Noel’s proving he’s more than capable of fuelling the fire all by himself.

Brotherly rivalry aside, ‘Holy Mountain’ is the first single taken from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ upcoming album Who Built The Moon? It’s a whimsical title, like the name of a children’s book illustrated by Quentin Blake, and the sense of childlike wonder it evokes is reflected in its joyous lead single.

‘Holy Mountain’ is a pretty severe left-turn for Noel who’s always had a penchant for pedestrian guitar anthems. But his latest single is a blast of brass and drums, a jubilant blare of celebratory elation built around – of all things – an old tin whistle sample. While Liam’s album sounds exactly as you’d imagine a Liam Gallagher album to sound, Noel is proving there’s still a few surprises left in the older Gallagher. So what’s got Noel in such a good mood? Turns out it’s just good old-fashioned love. “What’s more joyous than being in love, baby?” he said of his latest track, and this sense of unbridled joy is what shines through here, in every nonsensical lyric and thunking drumbeat.

There’s no escaping the fact that ‘Holy Mountain’ sounds like a song aimed squarely at kids, like the theme tune for an acid-inspired reboot of Playdays. “My kids love it, it’s already a playground anthem in Notting Hill,” Gallagher said, quite proudly. But though there is undoubtedly something immensely juvenile – even silly – about ‘Holy Mountain’, it’s this silliness that makes it so charming. Perhaps it’s because we don’t hear Noel in a good mood very often, or maybe it’s because it’s so opposite to what we expected from his latest single, but ‘Holy Mountain’ is as wonderful as it is ridiculous. Colourful and gleeful, Gallagher’s comeback track shows that while Liam is indulging in bitter hate-songs, Noel is happier basking in euphoria.


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