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Immaterial Possession’s Cooper Holmes, Madeline Polites and John Spiegel pose for a photo in Athens, Georgia on Monday, March 15, 2021.The Athens-based band released their self-titled debut album last summer. (Photo/Jessica Gratigny; @jgratphoto)

Shooting hoops in avant-garde theatrical costumes at a neighborhood basket court is none other than Athens’ own Immaterial Possession.

The Athens-based band combines the musical talents of Madeline Polites on guitar and vocals, Cooper Holmes on bass and vocals, Kiran Fernandes on keyboards and woodwinds and John Spiegel on percussion. Manifested by Polites and Holmes, the group connected through Atlanta’s underground artist community and officially formed four years ago.

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Immaterial Possession’s Madeline Polites, John Spiegel and Cooper Holmes pose for a photo in Athens, Georgia on Monday, March 15, 2021.The Athens-based band released their self-titled debut album last summer. (Photo/Jessica Gratigny; @jgratphoto)

The members are not only attracted to playing music for enjoyment, but also for music’s ability to communicate and transport. Holmes values the “therapeutic cathartic element” music has on top of it being a means of communication other than speaking. Polites considers music to be “the healing arts of the Earth.”

“It can guide you into other realms,” Polites said. “That is a part of the healing process to stepping outside of your usual perceptions, and traveling into other worlds to see what else is going on.”

Described as “Black Sabbath on lean” and “Beach Goth,” the band’s musical sound reflects their shared influences of psychedelic rock as well as their appreciation for Turkish and Greek music. Individually, each member brings their own diverse musical background and influences to Immaterial Possession, which allows them to create the unique style heard on their self-titled debut album released last July.

When creating the 11-track album, the group approached it with various creative processes. According to the band, some songs originated from ideas a member might have previously laid out in their head, and other tracks were products of pure collaboration through the layering of multiple instrumental ideas.

“There’s that approach to making music where it’s an active, living, breathing thing,” Spiegel, who also records and mixes some of their music, said. “It’s not like you’re just re-hashing a rehearsal … every time you do it it is its own experience.”

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Immaterial Possession’s Cooper Holmes, John Spiegel and Madeline Polites play their instruments for a photo in Athens, Georgia on Monday, March 15, 2021.The Athens-based band released their self-titled debut album last summer. (Photo/Jessica Gratigny; @jgratphoto)

In multiple instrumental tracks off their debut album, the band explored a different approach. “We aspire to have more songs that are naturally organically introduced through improvisation,” Polites said.

Their improvisation style can be heard in “Phase 1,” “Phase 2” and “Circle of Bells.” With the use of a Super 8 film camera, the three songs from the album were depicted in a music video entitled “Phases,” which was uploaded to YouTube earlier this year.

Exhibited in the video, “Phases,” is Peepa Show, an avant-garde theatrical performance put on by Holmes, Polites and Fernandes.

Peepa Show involves live music as well as handcrafted illusionary sets, costumes and masks. The improvisational acts seen in these ten to 30-minute shows are influenced by puppetry, surrealism and various underground theatrical styles such as clowning.

“The key combination is just to be really silly and stupid, then mix that with visual things that are beautiful and interesting looking,” Holmes said.

The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission awarded Peepa Show with one of the 2020 Arts In Community Resilience Awards, which supports 50 Athens’ creatives in achieving their proposed projects during the coronavirus pandemic. With the award, Peepa Show plans to hold a live performance before the end of the year.

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Immaterial Possession’s Cooper Holmes, Madeline Polites and John Spiegel pose for a photo in Athens, Georgia on Monday, March 15, 2021.The Athens-based band released their self-titled debut album last summer. (Photo/Jessica Gratigny; @jgratphoto)

As a band, Immaterial Possession anticipates releasing new music by this summer, and they hope to play gigs again in the near future.

“We're all in to go on tour soon as possible,” Polites said. “That is really the main thing that my soul screams for is to just get out of town and play some shows.”

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