The Holy Roman Army
Bagenalstown, County Carlow
The Holy Roman Army is Chris and Laura Coffey, a Dublin-based brother and sister originally from County Carlow. Joined by Dennis Cassidy (of Mixtapes From The Underground) on drums, Dave Power (of The Dead Flags) on bass and Andrew Christofides on trumpet, HRA have supported international acts such as Low, Atlas Sound and Darkstar as well as many acclaimed Irish artists, including Halfset, Adrian Crowley, RSAG and many more. They have also played festival sets at Castlepalooza, Hard Working Class Heroes and the Electric Picnic. The band are a very independent entity and now record, produce and mix all their music as well as producing their own artwork and videos/visuals.
The band's debut album 'How The Light Gets In' was released in June 2009 on their own Collapsed Adult label, and is available from all good Irish record stores and online retailers. 'Desecrations', a five-track EP which sees them covering songs by the likes of Bon Iver, Pavement and Rollerskate Skinny, is available as a free download from Bandcamp. A mini album entitled 'Lazerians', was released in late 2011, followed by 'Back/Before', a compilation of their early work, in March 2012. They have also released several mixtapes and a number of remixes over the last few years for Irish acts including Sacred Animals, 202s, Tenaka and The Dead Flags.
The Holy Roman Army released their second album 'One Atom That Was You' on November 16th. The album was self-produced and, aside from some drum recording, was recorded entirely at home by the band. As well as Chris Coffey (production, vocals) and sister Laura (vocals, guitar), many of the songs feature members of the band's live set-up, with drummer Dennis Cassidy (Mixtapes From The Underground) playing a central role. Bassist Dave Power and trumpeter Andrew Christofides play on several tracks also. The expansion to a full band adds a more dynamic feel to much of the album, complementing the intricate programming and samples gleaned from the band's record collections. The use of a home studio allowed the band to incorporate unusual recording equipment (such as Skype headsets and baby monitors) and kitchen implements for percussion. The rawer sound of the live elements mirrors the darker lyrical themes of the record.
Reviews of 'One Atom That Was You'
The Ticket (Irish Times): 4/5 stars
"A spacious record that takes time to engage, but one that's all the more rewarding for it"
Irish Daily Mail: 4/5 stars
Metro Herald: 4/5 stars
"...a triumph - an LP that deepens in mystery the longer you listen"
"The vocal melodies are frequently among the highlights...recorded at home yet still creates an expansive palette beyond those limits: with trumpets, breakbeats, clipped beats, cinematic strings and digital effects...Absolute highlights for me right now: ‘Upward Only’, ‘Rope’, ‘Fluttering"
"Here lies the glory of ‘One Atom That Was You’ – atop these desperate themes is a stirring backdrop of sound, a fascinating dichotomy between the warm, organic playing and the detached programming...The comedown has never been so alluring"
New Found Sounds (The Ticket)
"...this album has a pleasingly fuller sound than its predecessor"
"We think it’s a fine step forward from the band"
Number 20 in Dan Hegarty's Top 100 Irish Albums of 2012
Number 3 in Swear I'm Not Paul's Top Irish Albums of 2012