Holmes is where the heart is
DAVID HOLMES The Holy Pictures Canderblinks/Mercury Belfast DJ and producer David Holmes says this album first began to percolate back in 1996, after the death of his mother. He wanted to do a record about personal stuff, about his life away from clubs and sweaty venues. But other work got in the way.
Yet throughout all those other projects – artist albums (Let’s Get Killed), soundtracks (Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13) and other asides (The Free Association) – Holmes squirreled away songs and scraps for an album that didn’t really have a name, a direction or an agenda. As his own life changed and he became a father, those notions got stronger and stronger. The death of his own father in 2007 sent Holmes back into the studio with a real sense of purpose.
The Holy Pictures is Holmes’s family album. There’s a strongly personal sense of space and time to the contents, and it’s obvious that Holmes has invested huge amounts of emotion in these songs and sounds. But it’s also a remarkable measure of where Holmes is at as an artist as he ups the ante on his previous benchmarks.
Songs such as I Hear Wonders and Love Reigns Over Me may shamelessly parade their Krautrock, Velvet Underground and Primal-Scream-when-theywere-good influences, yet Holmes uses knockout hooks and riffs to reel you in. He’s also singing for the first time on record, apt when you consider where these songs are coming from. And when Holmes is not singing, he’s coming up with instrumentals and melodies that are haunted, bittersweet and autumnal.
The Holy Pictures is a beautifully realised homage to Holmes’s Belfast, an album with a dramatic sense of bringing it all home again. www.myspace.com/davidholmes official Download tracks: I Heard Wonders, Theme/TMC, Love Reign Over Me, The Ballad of Sarah and Jack