Seemingly out of nowhere The Holdup dropped three new singles this spring. I discovered the songs on Soundcloud’s “Top 50 New & Hot” reggae chart, which included “Imperfections” taking the chart’s #1 spot; it was easy to see why. The song’s hook and the drop just before the pre-chorus creates an energy swell that leaves the music stuck in your head for days at a time. I listened to “Imperfections” three times straight through, then picked up the phone and called my buddy Matt Bailey at Ineffable. “Matt, you got to check Soundcloud out, The Holdup guys are blowing up!” Matt began his response with a slight pause, followed by a laugh, and said “Seth, we (Ineffable Music Group) are working with them now, it’s not announced or anything but I’m taking over management and Mike is currently working on a video for one of the songs.” (Mike Garmany is the creative behind The Holdup).
This is that video, for that song….the one that by now is already stuck in your head.
Back in 2010 I began managing The Green. The Green started that year with the iTunes accolade of “Best Reggae Album” for their debut and sitting right next to it was The Holdup given the honors from iTunes as “Best New Reggae Artist” [*Note iTunes has been inconsistent with year end awards…some years have them, some don’t].
Back then everything about The Holdup was a mystery to me. They dropped their debut album which sold something like (going off my memory) 3,000 in first week sales, but they were not being booked by any of the major agencies. Their touring seemed sporadic, with no east coast dates. It was almost a Stick Figure or 10 Ft. Ganja Plant situation: fantastic album sales but little to no energy put into touring. While 10 Ft. has never been a touring band, Stick Figure proved that an artist with a deep catalog could enter into the market and take giant leaps; as evidenced by their back-to-back-to-back sellouts of 500-1,200 capacity clubs on their recent spring tour.
Fast forward six years and here is what I have come to know about The Holdup. Mike Garmany is The Holdup. He’s the artist behind writing, recording, and mixing all of the music (past and present). The project invokes a band’s image, but it’s really Mike holding firm on the creative controls, and single handedly delivering catchy and refreshing music. Mike has been doing the music thing on again, off again since his teens. This brings up an interesting point- The Holdup has released albums in the past, Mike is still young and fresh in the scope of the reggae market, and if he does decide to take The Holdup on the road, now is about the time that he could avoid mistakes that he maybe would have made as a teenager / young adult. The kind of mistakes that can break a band apart.
What will 2016 and beyond bring… I can see it now….The Holdup being the band that we all go, “wait, how did that happen so fast, where did this come from?” while we are standing in a sweaty packed east coast club, a club that our heroes have failed to sell out, but that this band who remained a mystery for so long, seems to have walked into out of nowhere and brought 500 of their friends through door.