TRACK REVIEW: James Holt – Whispers

TRACK REVIEW:

 

James Holt

 

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument, concert and night

 

Whispers

 

 

9.6/10

 

 

 

Whispers is available at:

https://soundcloud.com/jamesholtmusic/whispers

GENRE:

Singer-Songwriter; Alternative-Rock

ORIGIN:

Manchester, U.K.

RELEASE DATE:

2016

____________

THIS is the second time I am writing this review…

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owing to a monumental I.T. issue today. Suffice to say, this draft might not be as impressive and urbane but that is no disservice to my featured artist. I shall come to him soon but before I get there I want to look at gender in music and the sort of sounds being favoured in 2017; the bands and acts from Manchester that will be making big waves in the coming months. In addition to that, I will be looking at the importance of patronage and getting those big reviews; how education and exceptional musicianship can lead to a prosperous career and the trends and movements that are ensuring this year in music is an exciting one. Before all of that, I want to look at gender and why I am bringing it up. I have stated, in previous reviews, how the girls have been making the biggest impressions over the past year. It might be an ambiguous and overly-simplistic term but one I feel is correct. If you consider the best and album from last year – from Beyoncé, Solange and others – you can hear more invention, endeavour and power than their male peers. Again, I might be all-sweeping but I left 2016 optimistic this year would be a brighter and happy one – simply because the female genres were exploring new territory and providing a consistency I had not heard in many years. With new releases from Jesca Hoop and Laura Marling out or on the horizon; I am pretty convicted my theory will flesh-out and be proven very soon. That is not saying the boys have anything to worry about. We can go on for ages about how few women are afforded the same opportunities as men; how their employment chances and pay will be less – the way they are objectified and reduced to their physical assets in a lot of cases. That is a thorny issue I have explored before so shall not labour it here.

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What I wanted to bring up was how incredible last year was for music. That was the case, in no smart part, because of the singer-songwriters emerging. I was a bit cold with the bands of 2016 but have faith this year will rectify that imbalance. I have mentioned the likes of Laura Marling but if you take a sniff of the ripest and more pleasant-scented songwriters showing their stuff – there is so much depth, range and quality. I have banged-on about – the same way a dictator would take to the stand and scream a message of propaganda to the deluded masses – how Billie Marten is someone to keep your eyes on. Again, like my sexism point, I will keep it brief: she is likely to take big strides very soon and fully ascend and assimilate into the mainstream. She is among a crop of hungry young singer-songwriters doing something different and exceptional. One of the issues I have with some male artists – as opposed their female peers – is the level of interest and personality you find in their music. As I type this, rather opportunely, Marling’s latest song, Wild Fire, has just come on the radio. It demonstrates what I mean about female-made music. The lyrics shimmer with evocativeness, scenery and story; the vocal swoons, strikes and speculates whilst the guitars weave fascinating tapestry and capture the heart. I am not down on male singer-songwriter but have found too many are focused on the heart and loins: a limited songbook and few willing to push the envelope and take appropriate risks. That is all well and good if you do not want to remain in the industry but, I am guessing here, many will want a viable and sturdy career. If you are a Folk/Pop act, you do not have to follow the herds and write something insanely marketable and digestible. I feel too many artists are not taking chances and suffering as a result. James Blake, for example, is someone who can talk about relationships and love but do so with new perspective and ideas. His Electronic compositions and intoxicating, velvet-smooth voice are sensational. Turning this seeming funeral wake into a birthday celebration: it is appropriate I shine the light on James Holt. He is a young man who should not be scared at this point in the review. The reason I have mentioned the above points is because he does not fit in. In fact, he is one of those songwriters given the guys a good name and highlighting what a wealth of exceptional music there is.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Projoe Photography

I shall highlight the reasons how he has got where he is – and why he is so good – in a later section, but for now, time to meet the man himself:

James Holt is a singer/songwriter from Manchester and, with his unique alternative rock sound, is receiving attention and praise from music industry giants and the listening public alike. 

James’ song ‘Whatever Happened to John?’ was chosen by Brian Eno. Brian Eno, a world-renowned producer, said of the track: “Brisk, funny, exciting. Great drumming. This track feels fresh and exciting to listen to”. James is particularly pleased because he recorded and produced the song himself. Brian Eno chose the song via the NOISE Festival 2014.

Music has been his life from a very early age. He is a classically trained pianist (since 6), guitarist (since 9) and cellist (since 12), and also has grade 8 theory. He achieved four grade 8s and then went onto graduate from the University of Salford with a First Class BA Honours Degree in Music, majoring in composition and arrangement. He is now studying for a MA in Music Composition at Salford University. He was also awarded the Derek Scott Composition Award at his graduation ceremony.

James has a love of composing and arranging and a desire to write lyrical songs in many styles. He records, writes and produces all his own music and is inspired by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Tame Impala, Radiohead, Miles Davies and Bill Evans.

He has recently had radio plays on BBC Manchester ‘Introducing’ (also going in for a live session) and BBC Lancashire ‘Introducing’, Mike Sweeney BBC Manchester, BBC Radio 6, FAB Radio International, Allfm, student radio, local radio and has also been featured on ‘Fresh On the Net’. He has been featured twice on ‘Never Enough Notes’ and has been spotlighted in the Unsigned Guide and the Manchester Evening News.

James performs regularly at venues and festivals in towns and cities across the UK including Manchester, Liverpool, Leicestershire and Bolton, and he is keen to expand and experiment further musically and is back in the studio writing and recording”.

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I will return to the singer-songwriter/gender debate in the conclusion but wanted to look at one of the most underrated cities for music in the world, Manchester. Many would say the northern city has got a lot of praise and attention over the years. After all, consider The Stone Roses, The Smiths and Oasis. Put Joy Division near there and The Chemical Brothers. The trouble is, that was all in the past. Sure, during the rise of Oasis and The Smiths, many were focusing on Manchester and how strong its music was. There has not really been a huge movement coming out of Manchester – not in the same way, there was in the 1980s and ‘90s. A lot of focus is on London which is causing many musicians to move there – fearful they will be overlooked otherwise. I love Manchester, despite the fact I am yet to visit. I have always been intrigued by the tautologically-named Northern Quarter – it is Manchester: just how much more northern can you get?! – and what it represents. It is quite a trendy and cosmopolitan area but, to me, seems like a natural home for future glory. It seems perfectly set-up to accommodate musicians and what they need. Cheaper rents and plenty of great little spaces; a willing and welcoming community and perfect streets/sights to inspire the mind. It is not surprising the city has influenced a lot of wonderful musicians the past couple of years. We all know Blossoms were the big band out of Manchester (Stockport actually) mooted for big things. I found their debut album a little too formulaic and unexciting. Too many carefully-planned and overly-precise songs without the necessary looseness and energy you would hope for. They are cut from the same cloth as The 1975 – another band I hate – and were a little overly-tipped in my view. I have found a crop of local bands fully capable of going one step further and creating year-defining music. PINS are the all-girl rockers who created a blinding album in their self-produced album, Girls Like Us.

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The band has a huge live reputation and are signed to the Bella Union label. Having supported Sleater-Kinney and Drenge last year – and a tour of the U.S. – this year they have already brought out one an incredible single: the Iggy Pop-featuring Anglophobe. That part-Spoken Word, part-Rock song is as original and instant as they come. Pop’s gravelled, commanding voice narrates strange scenes and keen wit; the band backing him up with a hooky chorus and plenty of fuzz-and-stomp. I know they are releasing more music this year and definitely one of those bands who will be mainstream fixtures very soon. In that same vein, Cabbage are one of those bands deserving of the hyperbole and speculation. The boys are busy conquering stages and stamping their mark on the scene. When they are not writing about vengeful, wouldn’t-want-to-meet-them-in-a-dark-alley dinner ladies; they are tackling Garage-Rock with a panoply of riot, attitude and exceptionally bracing songs. They have almost perfected the art of modern classics: building off the legends of Punk but adding something very much their own inside music that gets inside everyone’s head. The Mossley boys were long-listed by the BBC – and their annual poll of the artists to watch – and are very much in love with where they are. You will not see the boys swapping the wit and wisdom of Manchester for the hustle and expense of London anytime soon. Away from bands and you can guarantee solo artists will be doing their part. LAY. (pronounced ‘Ladyfullstop’) is a charming and beguiling artist capable of tempting the birds from the trees. She was born in the Midlands but spent formative years around Manchester. Member of M.C. outfit Cul de Sac: she has caught the ear of Kendrick Lamar and amazed him with her mixture of babble and fluid, forward-thinking Soul, Jazz and Hip-Hop. Here is the very definition of what I was saying about girls: that talent and ambition have led to some truly world-class music.

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Aside from those acts I have just named, there will be many more making their mark. Horsebeach and Honeyblood are two great bands to watch as our Spring King. If you peek under the boulder of Mancunian music, you will discover so much treasure and potential. It is a bursting city that is alive and alert: the music here is among the world’s best and deserves great focus. I have been looking at London music for a long time now and not had much chance to investigate what is happening in Manchester right now. I will explore this in more depth in a feature but am pumped listening to some terrific Manchester music. Gorilla, The Ritz and The Ruby Longue are three reputable venues in the city bands can cut their teeth and get a good footing. I know there are some terrific pubs and smaller locations around Manchester but it is those legendary, much-fabled locations the best artists in the city yearn to play. I know James Holt has performed around the city and covered a lot of territory in the north. He has wowed many in Manchester but casting his net quite wide. I am not surprised to hear someone of Holt’s calibre come from Manchester as we know the sheer quality coming through. Before I look at Holt’s education and musicianship; I am intrigued by his reviews and fans. I will go into more depth but wanted to talk about a certain Brian Eno. He seems to be a name I am dropping into a few reviews lately. The epic producer/musician has his finger on the pulse and keeping busy discovering new artists he feels are worthy of applause. Holt is one such chap he has given his gold standard to. Invigorated, relaxed and seduced by the wit, excitement and percussion chops of Holt’s song, Whatever Happened to John?, Eno was deeply impressed by such a singular talent. The fact Brian Eno has put that sort of praise at Holt’s feet should not be taken lightly.

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If any musician receives recommendations from a stalwart of the music scene that is almost like praise from a king – you have the confidence to go as far as you need. I am sure Holt will not get too big-headed but will be buoyed by such words Holt has caught the imagination of local radio and press with BBC Introducing Manchester and the finest radio stations in the city keen to praise the young master. Of course, Holt is backed by his band so congratulations should go to Kieran Joyce and Aden Peerts – who lay vocals/bass and drums respectively. Listening to Holt’s music puts me in mind of the Punk greats of the 1970s and 1980s and the excitement in the air then. Bands like The Jam and Buzzcocks could provide down-to-earth, witty songs but still conveys serious messages and speak from the heart. Having digested and idolised album such as All Mod Cons; I can see Holt and the band producing their own, Manchester-based classic. I will come to my last point soon but wanted to mention a radio station I name-drop with all the subtlety of Satan emptying his bowels after a heavy night at the curry house – expunge that disturbing, dystopian image if you dare! BBC Radio 6 Music is a subject/thing I could write an essay on. It seems like the station is an esoteric delight: picked up by the minority but those who really appreciate great music and the finest sounds around. Holt has been championed by the station’s Tom Robinson and with just cause. I get to review artists that have been played across ‘6 Music and that is no easy accomplishment. To reach the doors of radio Parnassus, you need to have a skillset and set of songs that bypass the rather cauliflower-eared, chart-obsessed brains of local radio. BBC Radio 6 Music is the last bastion of proper, all-killer-no-filler music for the discerning elite. The fact the likes of Tom Robinson have singled Holt out for success is a testament to the talent the Manchester musician has. If you gain such accolade this young and soon it shapes and defines the future. You might well say that is all well and good but how do I get to that stage?! Whispers is a song that takes from Holt’s past and the characteristics that define his music: the heart and humour with incredible musicianship and intelligent, inspiring lyrics. I know the boy has a great online following and a certain Sean Keaveny – another ‘Radio 6 Music D.J. – is one of his supporters. All these great humans have fallen for someone who has music swimming in his blood. It is James Holt’s desire and passion for music that got him into the business and leads to such terrific music. As I said, I will look at Holt’s new music and prospects for 2017 but will go to his past and see where has come from.

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Right, peeps, almost there, but before I do, I wanted to look at musical education and consecration as a way to enhance creativity and commitment. James Holt is a classically-trained pianist and bonded with the guitar at nine, the cello by twelve – he has a Grade 8 theory. Aside from that, he has a B.A. Honours in Music (from the University of Salford where he obtained a First) and is studying an M.A. in Music Composition – again, from the same university. I feel a musical education – whether a music school or university – has its advantages and pitfalls. On the downsides, a lot of educational facilities instruct students a certain way. Many music schools mould students to sound like chart acts: make them as commercial and dispensable as possible. You also find many of the students, because of this, have a limited palette and do not often expand their sound. On the plus side, and is the case with Holt, you are surrounded by fellow musicians and provided guidance from qualified musicians and learned professors. Not only do you get a front-row seat to a first-class education but have lessons and lectures structured and well-planned. Maybe some would say this makes (musicians who study here) too technical and studied – lacking the feel, instinct and personality you would want from a musician. There are valid points on both sides of the scales. An history of music will tell you there is validity to gaining a musical education. For someone as passionate and multi-instrumental as Holt; it seems only right he would immerse himself in study and follow that path. I feel it has directly structured and influenced his music: was he to negate studies and take a different path it is debatable his songs would be as strong and compelling? The wit and humour you get in the music is more his own personality – music lecturers are never that cool and fun – but the exceptional musicianship and compositional excellence stems from that university-level education.

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Holt’s previous work has been lauded by many due to its strength, maturity and professionalism. Whatever Happened to John? has a genuine rush and excitement to it. Harmonica blasts remind me of The Beatles, in a strange way, whilst the entire piece has a spark and drive that propels it forward. The chorus looks at control and has a sort of smile-inducing, grisly humour to it. You are always hooked by the passion in Holt’s voice and the speed in which the song goes past. Captured by the dance and allure of the track: the instrumentation is never predictable and puts so many different ideas together. A pattering drum solo is an unusual inclusion and is a real treat. Among the harmonic blast and guitar strings, you are toe-tapping to the percussion and allow yourself to be enveloped in the vivid storyline and aural fireworks that are let off. Whatever Happened to John? is a song that spiked the ear of Brian Eno who recognised James Holt as an exciting and witty songwriter. You can hear what he means here: a moment that sounds unlike any other and definitely puts the listener in a better frame of mind. In Sanguine on the Rock’s title track, Holt looks at a subject who has lost his wings and lost his way. Not knowing where he belongs; one gets the sense of a disconnected and lost figure who is seeking answers and a sense of direction. Holt’s lyrics have that poetic and personal touch that elevates them above the predictable pulpit many scribe from. In this track, one hears so many original ideas and that musical flair – another barnstorming track but alive and fresh; it has complexity and depth that means one will keep coming back and discovering new things. If one explores the entire E.P., you’ll find the same kind of treasures and quality throughout – the title track is the standout and gets the listener thinking and inspired. All of this past material proves how consistent and special Holt is. It is hard comparing him with another artist because you concentrate on what he is saying and what the lyrics compel.

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Coming to Whispers – with that back knowledge and Holt music in my ears – I was preparing myself and ready for what was coming. If you were looking for a rushing-off-the-line song that delivers knockout energy and a real body-moving swagger you may be disappointed. Holt shows evolve and surprise in a song that begins with an enormous amount of grace and beauty. There is a shimmering bit of percussion and keys. In fact, it is hard to describe the instruments being employed in the opening moments. One hears a balance of ballet and Classical score and something that could have been created by The Cinematic Orchestra or Brian Eno. There are little bits of Pink Floyd and other artists but, to be honest, it is James Holt’s musicianship and talented combining together like nothing else. In previous songs, he has shown how adept and natural he is as a musician through Alternative-Rock/Folk sounds. Here, the palette is broadened as he explores new territory. It is a song you submit yourself to and swim inside. So vivid and tranquil are the notes, one drifts and moves inside its colourful, velvet-soft suggestions. Before you fully embrace the score and speculate what is coming next; Holt’s voice comes in and is sweet and high-pitched as the birds in the trees. At the start, one hears of tears rolling down the face and a sense of loss. Maybe there is romantic misadventure and untangle but the lyrics implore interpretation and have obliqueness to them. I was captivated by the sheer sound and emotion of the vocal which is very different to Holt’s previous work. In the past, Holt portrayed a lower vocal that could have sat alongside Folk legends such as Bob Dylan. Here, one hears influences of John Lennon and Tame Impala. There is that fusion of northern burr and earthiness with something ethereal and transcendent. Holt lets his voice guide the song and explore in the atmosphere. If there is a sense of weightlessness to the music and vocals; it is the lyrics that bring you back down to Earth.

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It is an unexpected move and song that has found many saying the same thing: what an evolution and change it is from Holt. That is true, yet the mark of any great artist is someone who can make these sort of leaps but remain focused and identifiable. Whispers has that incredible beginning but never extends that introduction so far. Even in the initial lyrics, you are lured to the composition that keeps registering little hits here and there. There are high notes and majestic little flecks; some aching and yearning undercurrents and a rich and sumptuous bouquet. The vocal soon becomes firmer and more matter-of-fact as the hero asks about love and affection: whether the whispers were just for him and what it all meant. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place for truth but I leapt to the side of love and a man that is struggling with feelings and affection. One hears the hero say he is unable to maintain (the girl) and gets the mind working hard. Perhaps a bond has broken and lies been told or there has been a sense of tease. Whatever the true origins behind the words, it is impossible not to be buckled and affected by the changing mood of the song and all the development one hears. From that floaty, Progressive-Rock start, the song changes to something straighter and more direct. It is that composition that, perhaps, registers the biggest hit. Holt is an exceptional musician but showcases a range of skills few others possess. You get a mix of genres and style that leap across decades and will speak to listeners of all ages. It is a fabulously evocative sound that leaves you a little lost for words. Luckily for me – otherwise this interview would be a bit sparse – you are torn in all sorts of directions and have plenty of interpenetrations. Maybe I am a little foolhardy thinking the hero has had his heart broken and is wrestling with an established passion.

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It is another incredible song from James Holt and one you have to keep listening to over and over again. Such is the strength and beauty of Whispers, you cannot just listen to it once and take it all in. There are so many different things going on one has to keep returning to get to the bottom of various phases. The musicianship and composition is amazingly accomplished and evocative. I have mentioned Brian Eno and can imagine the maestro would be very proud listening to Whispers. It has sounds he would be familiar with and definitely approve of. Also, you sense a musician at the peak of his form but someone who has a lot more to say. Whispers has very few lyrics but the ones included get you wondering and questioning their nature and true meaning. I have listened to the song a few times and still changing my mind about things. On the one hand, there is that possibility of love and a broken relationship and on the other, something more positive and affirmative is being portrayed. Holt’s voice switches from angelic and pure to slight-gravelled and homely. That evolution and mutation is never rushed: it all sort of unfolds naturally in the song and sits alongside the composition which is incredible. That music is among the most extraordinary I have heard in a long time. I have often felt modern singer-songwriters are too limited with regards their compositions and never that interesting. James Holt is someone who recognises this and ensures all his songs are filled with energy, nuance and immense fascination. Whatever your interpretation of Whispers; it will affect you and stay in the mind for a very long time. An incredible and beautiful track from one of the country’s best young songwriters.

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Sanguine on the Rocks is Holt’s latest E.P. and one that, seems to be fine his dichotomy and attitude. ‘Sanguine’ means positive or hopeful when a situation would suggest a bleaker outcome. The idea of someone moored on the rocks but looking out at the horizon speaks volumes about the Manchester songwriter. Not that James Holt has battled too many obstacles and setbacks. As writers go, you do not just get the run-of-the-mill love songs and stereotyped sentiments. Whatever Happened to John? – that Brian Eno-approved gem – came with a lashing of gravy-think wit and sumptuous percussion; an incredible, indelible vocal and snatches of ‘70s Punk and modern Alternative-Rock. Whispers has very little in common with Whatever Happened to John? which is a good thing. Both songs have that distinct James Holt talent at the core but look at different subjects and have separate sounds. In order to gain approval and success in the industry, you need to be wide-ranging and ambitious with your songwriting. If you were, a James Bay-like Pop artist who seems more obsessed with his stupidly oversized hat than the quality of his music – you are not going to fare too well and bore your way out of music. What I wanted to do, before the final sprints to the finishing line, was to predict where Holt might head this year. What I find about Manchester musicians – something I will tip my hat to later – is now proud they are of home. Sure, you get London artists pleased to be here but few Manchester musicians leave the city to seek fame and fortune further south. It seems like the city is perfectly equipped to accommodate the smorgasbord of genres, bands and artists pushing music forward. In the same way I’d happily like myself buried in Covent Garden’s piazza – if there is a human statue there that attracts gawking tourists then imagine the ‘selfies’ my ill-placed funeral mound would get – I wouldn’t mind having my ashes sprinkled across Manchester’s Northern Quarter – preferably in the face of the first hipster my relatives came across and his ridiculously pruned facial hair and absurd attire.

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As I explained in the first paragraph: a calamitous I.T.-related trial-by-fire has rendered my mood irrevocably sour and cynical. I hope Holt will overlook a spiteful disposition because I have fallen for the music, his backstory and the acclaim he is gathering like raindrops from the desert floor. I know he wants to push his music further across the U.K. and that will be key this year. He and his band have a loyal and solid following up north but realise the potential of playing further south. As much as I vacillate about Manchester; it is London where my soul and heart will always stray. Not just because of the amazing buzz of the place but the music scene that has always been here – one that grows more magisterial and fascinating by the year. James Holt is used to playing some great venues and would feel comfortable, one hopes, in some of London’s best venues. The Barfly and The Dublin Castle might be reserved for slightly bigger acts but someone Holt could well play soon – they seem ready-made for his style of music and ability to captivate an audience. Also, 100 Club seems like a good venue for the young artist. In truth, there are a lot of great spots Holt could play in the capital. Many would want to see him down south. Brighton, too, has that great scene and would welcome him with open arms. I am not sure how he is planning his musical map this year: whether he is touring locally or back in the studio; having a rest or seeing how things go.

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I am not sure whether Holt is planning a new E.P. or album yet 2017 seems like the perfect year for him to create. Not only does he comes off the back of a busy and eventful 2016 but can react to the world events unfolding and the inspiration they provide. Aside from the bottom-feeding exploits of Donald ‘fake news’ Trump and his crotch-grabbing, wall-building, travel-banning jizz-fests – the rest of the world has grown amused by the bully-boy embarrassment of the school’s resident toilet blocker. He is polluting the world with his sewage ideology and, one feels, his presidency and tyrannical festination will be over before it got chance to break the mattress in. Politics, social dissension and discontent are not the cheeriest subjects but perfect fodder for musicians to put their own, more positive spin on. I am not sure how James Holt’s future music will pan out but I would expect a mixture of personal revelation, witty wordplay and cutting commentary. What is certain is the artist we have right in front of us. He is a songwriter who grew up with the likes of The Beatles and Miles Davis but has affection for modern acts like Radiohead and Tame Impala. I can see a bright future for James Holt as his determination and talent cannot be faulted. Those nods from the likes of BBC and Brian Eno are spectacular and should give him the impetus to keep probing and exploring the depths of his ability. I feel one of the biggest changes this year will be international recognition. When you have a special list of plaudits in your back pocket, it is only a matter of time before you get foreign ears tuned. I can see, with some persuasive pushing and savvy social media inflections, Holt’s music can reach U.S. audiences. I know a lot of similar-minded L.A. artists who have found huge success and, in a culture swap and exchange programme, have been very well-received here. Maybe money will halt the Mancunian’s transcontinental ambitions but it is something that will happen sooner or later. For the moment, the young musician is enjoying his time in music and getting stronger and more celebrated with every new song.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Tom Jones

I’ll round this up with a brief repeat of one of my earlier points: the strength of Manchester and the artists coming out of there. In terms of the mainstream, it is not just the legends and classic bands you should focus on. More recent acts such as Everything Everything prove what an experimental vibe the city has. Not only (does the band) produce some of the most intelligent and spirited music I have heard but seem to incorporate all the threads, strands and background noises that make Manchester the city it is. On that front, newcomers Dutch Uncles are doing sterling work have produced a stunning album in Big Balloon. The band craft music that does not stick to a single theme/genre: from upbeat, catchy-as-heck songs through to traditional Indie vibes; you have a group always pushing themselves and wanting to be better. I know there are other mainstream Manchester artists around but it is the new crop that really catches my ear. Larkins are old college friends – studying history, linguistics and music – who seem to bring their university subjects into songs full of Funk-infuse, Pop and Vampire Weekend-like stunners – through to glistening ballads and tender offerings. The band have a way with language and craft some of the most indelible and memorable lyrics you’ll hear. They dip into music’s past and infuse a variation of sounds and bands into their own work whilst keeping things very much in the present. The guys have spectacular hair – which is almost as eye-catching as their sets and deserves its own dressing room – and incredible liver performances will see them ascend to the mainstream. There are many more Manchester acts worth your time but that will have to wait for another day I am afraid. Get onboard James Holt’s bandwagon and let it take you where it may. He is a singer-songwriter who is capable of going a very long way and inspiring many other musicians. Whispers is a track that suggests…

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PLENTY more music is to come.

____________

Follow James Holt

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument, guitar and indoor PHOTO CREDIT: Diego Lopez (at Oxjam Manchester)

Official:

http://www.jamesholtmusic.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/jamesholtmusic

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/jamesholtmusic

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/jamesholtartist

SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/jamesholtmusic

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