Holy Posers Release Debut LP This Friday at Atomic Cowboy
Under the moniker Holy Posers, songwriter Trent Dickerson began releasing self-produced songs on Soundcloud back in 2012. Eight years later, Dickerson finds himself fronting a six-piece band using the same name with a debut LP “Are You Sure You’re Having Fun?” The official release show takes place this Friday, Jan. 24, at The Bootleg at Atomic Cowboy.
Holy Posers is Dickerson (lead vocal, guitar) Ashley Bryne (vocals, keys), Brian Thompson (bass), Aaron Essner (drums), Peter Graham (saxophone) and Phillip Zahdn (trumpet). The majority of the band met attending Truman State University, where Dickerson spent a lot of his time composing and experimenting in the campus music building after hours.
“I’ve been writing songs since high school, but the focus was never my band. I played in other peoples’ bands,” Dickerson says. Former projects include southern Missouri-based indie-rock outfits Tom Sauk and Jailbox, the latter being where he met his current drummer.
As soon as the band hit the St. Louis scene, Holy Posers caught the eye of local musician and producer Tom Pini of Drangus. “When I met Tom, I knew quickly that this was who I wanted to work with. I consider mixing just as important as any instrument. The production is a huge part of the vibe of the project,” Dickerson says. “He was so excited about the music that I really trusted him.”
It was after their meeting—and a successful show at former Cherokee Street venue Foam (R.I.P.)—that Dickerson acted on a wild idea. In the dead of winter in 2019, he got on Airbnb, booked a week-long stay at a mansion in the burbs of St. Louis, moved the band in and began what he describes as the best week of his life.
“Tom and I get there first and sound treated it,” Dickerson explains. “We both knew what we wanted before we went to the house. We spent seven hours moving mics and tuning the drums. We wouldn’t move on until it was perfect.” They made the space work by removing mirrors from walls and placing them to act as windows between rooms. When everything was in place, the recording process began—right as a snow storm rolled in and prevented anyone from leaving.
Inspired by R&B and hip-hop artists including Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, Dickerson explains that he and Pini spent a lot of time listening to music together before embarking on the eight-track album. “For me, it’s almost always music first,” Dickerson explains of his songwriting process. “Like when you open your car door, that interval, a melody, a riff; it starts with a sound. I think what you say is important, but the way it sounds is just as important. Like James Brown says, ‘Everything is a drum.’”
You’ll hear the R&B influence in Dickerson’s vocal melodies and Thompson’s bass grooves. You’ll also hear catchy pop hooks elevated by Byrne’s harmonies, impressive percussive work by Essner and an unassuming, incredibly tasteful horn section that creates an unforgettable live show experience. You won’t get shameless self-promotion and cringe-y social media posts from the Posers, but you will get quality art from talented musicians if you keep a close eye on them.
“This band is about writing songs and sharing them. Playing is really fun—and I have the fortune of having ridiculously talented people in my band—but I do think everyone’s favorite part is writing,” Dickerson says. “I just want to make stuff, and make it as accessible as possible.”
The official music video for “Grapenuts” was shot at Laumiere Sculpture Park and directed by Samuel P, featuring dancer Samantha Byrne.
Images courtesy of Chris Bauer.