There’s a certain sort of hilarity to the idea of a “home organ.” It was the enviable staple for any and all suburban entertainers throughout the 1940s up into the 1970s.
You could imagine what the idealized home organ scenario would be - someone would prompt whoever organized that day’s tea and sandwiches or Holiday fruitcake exchange party to talk about that sort of bulky theatre organ knockoff in the corner of the parlor room (which is inevitably just a small living room). Inevitably, the host with the most would be of the proper mindset (and skill) to say something kitchy along the lines of “Well why would I tell you about it when I can just go ahead and show you what it’s all about!?”
Then the host with the most would sit down and perform the standards of the day with an intimate familiarity, subsequently charming any and all guess, simultaneously cementing the status of queen or king of the cul-de-sac. But those were the days of yesteryear for the home organ. It’s present day relevance is somewhere between obsolete and insignificant, as the home organ forefathers, Lowrey, went out of style, Wurlitzer went out of business, and Hammond moved on to synthesizers.
Most home organs now sit and gather dust in the basements of retired home-entertainers for grand kids to gawk at. A tableau of an analog past that sort of sounds like the noises on a polyphonic app of some sort.
Or, in a more idyllic (and self-serving for the sake of this write-up) scenario, it’s put to use in the modern day. Such is the (presumed) situation with the latest tune from Drumming Bird. Obviously, a portion of this home organ navel gazing is formed off the presumption that Austin Sawyer must have had some sort of home organ access, considering the album art for his “Holy Love” single is a solitary home organ in front of a bare wall.
Realistically, there might have been more modern tonalities mixed in, but the song features a playful little camp that once proud home entertainers would only dream of.
Imagine if Alex O’Connor of Rex Orange County had chosen to listen to more Woody Guthrie than Randy Newman, that’s what “Holy Love” sounds like. It’s a song in three parts, the first being a simple wurly-bird tonality undercutting hesitant wax poetic observations on hereditary anxiety. From there, a more playful bounce ushers in a shift from lizard lounge prose to self-criticism all the way into a near arena-ready gang chorus of “Was I not enough?/For your holy love?” Simple, but effective, as the sensibility of wax poeticism is shorn entirely within the song’s four minutes and a handful of seconds.
“Holy Love” is a slight departure from Drumming Bird’s other, more Americana leaning, single, “White Buffalo,” - which stands alone on its own merit - but ultimately, the newest single proves that Drumming Bird has a more versatile flair than other genre-straddling contemporaries. Much like Rex Orange County, the next Drumming Bird single could be total indie pop satire smarm, or an evocative tear-jerker, but that’s beside the point. The point of the matter is, “Holy Love” is a sign of great things to come from Austin Sawyer as Drumming Bird, so get familiar now, or go you’ll go the way of the home organ.