Kevin Holt – Can’t See The Forest For The Trees (kevinholtaudio.co.uk)
Usually a hard dance act, Kevin Holt has a new acoustic album out. Ian Critchley enjoys the new sound.
Whilst going through Kevin Holt’s website I became aware that, out of the multitude of different releases on there, Can’t See The Forest For The Trees was the only acoustic effort, whereas the others lent themselves more to the hard dance spectrum of the music matrix. It seemed so utterly bizarre that someone who had created a name for himself with the polar opposite of soft folk could switch with such style and grace, fooling any listener into believing that Holt had been busting out twinkly guitar jams on record his entire life.
The main thing that this record reminds me of is Nick Drake. It has the same intricate guitar parts as the deceased folk poet and a very similar low tone vocal style. Like Nick Drake, Kevin’s strong English accent is a strong feature of his sound. The only difference being Holt’s accent has a strong whiff of the Mancunian about it, though not as strong enough to compare to acts like Oasis (which, frankly, would be an insult to this guy’s talent) but in terms of voice there is potentially an influence of Ian Curtis behind the vocals emanating from Kevin’s throat.
The fact this album is entirely created by one person; the songs, lyrics, melodies, recording, production, et al is really impressive. Not only has Kevin Holt managed to create a strong first release wholly on his own he has done so without the album reeking of the “I can do it better without anyone’s help” arrogance of, say, a Phil Collins record. In fact, the final sound seems to be incredibly humble and at times almost vulnerable in how it’s put together allowing the production to create an atmosphere which complements the melancholy song topics to perfection.
Even though judging by his past experience Kev’s heart seems to be more set on a life creating music of a “Dance” nature, I hope this will not be a one off project as I can imagine the majority of, if not all, listeners of this record being as intensely impressed as I am.
All words by Ian Critchley. More writing by Ian on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.