You shall know Holy Ghost! by the company they keep. New Yorkers Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser have been part of the DFA camp for the past decade, first as members of youthful hip-hop crew Automato and then as in-house musicians. Since the duo's debut single, 2007's "Hold On," they have remixed LCD Soundsystem, Cut Copy, MGMT and Phoenix, all of whom leave their mark on this electro-pop debut.
Their most blatantly pop moves sound a little too slick and unconvincing (there's not a "Kids" or a "Lisztomania" here), but they've got the production smarts to keep things interesting. Even the over-perky "Jam for Jerry" turns itself around with a glittering disco coda, while the deadpan slow motion grooves of "Do It Again" and "Some Children" (featuring yacht-rock smoothie Michael McDonald) are good news to anyone mourning LCD Soundsystem's retirement. Running through it all is a theme of hedonism in straitened circumstances. "I'll take some money from the joint account/ I know I know I know we're running out," sings Frankel on "Hold My Breath", sounding uncannily like Phoenix's Thomas Mars fronting late-'80s Depeche Mode. "I love the city but I hate my job," he declares on the seductive after-hours techno of Hold On. "And the city loves me back." At their best Holy Ghost! capture precisely that feeling.