The Hole Punch Generation - S/T (Audiobulb)
From Boston, USA, The Hole Punch Generation have been together for the best part of five years, methodically crafting their song-based spectral electronic music. Apart from synths and laptops, they also employ guitars and drums, though the former are treated through various `magic' boxes and the latter, courtesy of Adam Sturtevant, have something of the mechanical about them - it's a most pleasing effect.
Amongst the beats and electronic swathes is the voice of Patrick Balthrop, which is in turn haunting, ancient and desperately vulnerable. It provides an acute emotional hit that never feels manipulative or forced, and as the "Conversations" taster single indicated, they can rip your heart out without compromising a sound that is inspiring, uplifting and, frankly, bloody beautiful. Fans of everyone, from Radiohead to Eno, would be wise to track this down. 9/10.