Holy Motors Share a Playlist of Songs That Inspired “Horse”

The Estonian group’s new record drops this Friday via Wharf Cat.
Holy Motors Share a Playlist of Songs That Inspired “Horse”

The Estonian group’s new record drops this Friday via Wharf Cat.

Words: Danielle Chelosky

photo by Grete Ly Valing

October 14, 2020

Eliann Tulve was just sixteen when she joined Holy Motors. In Estonia, the group were influenced by Western movies after the Soviet Union fell, leading them to make dark, aloof music that’s imbued with country, folk, and indie. It’s still hard to completely pin down what genre they can be categorized as, though—they’ve been classified as everything from shoegaze to psychedelic. 

They’re ready to follow up 2018’s debut Slow Sundown with Horse. For FLOOD, Tulve and Lauri Raus put together a playlist of songs that influenced the new record. It proves that their hearts belong to roots music, but, from there, they expand and branch out into a multitude of diverse sounds.

Horse is out this Friday, October 16, on Wharf Cat Records. Pre-order it here.


Daniel Romano, “He Lets Her Memory Go (Wild)”

Romano’s country albums he released around ten years back are gold to me.

Sanford Clark, “It’s Nothing To Me”

Bar banger!

Tammy Wynette, “Stand By Your Man”

Mrs. Wynette paved a way for women in country music by breaking through the male-dominated space that it was in the ’70s. And with some real poise.

The Gun Club, “Cool Drink of Water”

Drivin’ round the desert feelin’ real cool while this plays over and over again.

The Sadies, “Oak Ridges”

Good band, good song.

Le Ren, “The Day I Lose My Mind”

Country newcomer and she deserves a whole lot of attention at the moment, in my opinion.

Kurt Vile and John Prine, “How Lucky”

Anyone else feel like Kurt Vile’s music could soothe a wild bull?


Danny Mirror, “I Remember Elvis Presley (The King Is Dead)”

So this guy Eddy Ouwens wrote this song to commemorate the passing of Elvis Presley. He kind of mimics him well for a Dutch guy, doesn’t he? And for the finale, he sows in my personal favorite: “Can’t help falling in love.” It’s what the Europeans call homage—and Americans plagiarism, I guess.

Compulsive Gamblers, “Two Thieves”

Going on from there, here’s a band from Memphis, Tennessee. And despite them being sort of a punk band, I think it’s a pretty country song. Kind of like “Mother of Earth” by Gun Club or something. It’s just something that sprung from listening to Danny Mirror. Must have been that “Elvis died in Memphis” connection.

Nicola Di Bari, “You’d Better Smile”

In my early twenties, this was the late introduction to Spaghetti music. Scored by the Reverberi brothers (what a surname) and performed by a Romeo-looking Nicola Di Bari, a philanderer perhaps. Your good looking pop star. The internet has it that he is the most “sacred monster” in Italian pop music. Not that I would know what that means. Anyway, after hearing that song kick-off, I was strung out on Spaghetti. Can recommend.

James Wilsey, “Untamed”

Wilsey had that silver-sparkle Strat that sounded like a mystery. Maybe that’s what David Lynch liked about it. He is the king of slow. But despite the title, I think he was also one of the most underrated guitar players there was. His kind only got a small kingdom for what they contributed. But everybody loves “wicked game.”

The Rolling Stones, “You Got the Silver”

Something we recently talked about was how easy it was to get to the basement of the villa the Stones recorded Exile on Main Street in. Not that I had been there. It wasn’t my story. But I did revisit the album. Though that’s not a song from there, is it. It’s just another beautiful song from their canon and something we listened to on the road.