Organic layers of piano and acoustic guitar back the uniquely expressive and intimate lyrics and vocals of Jake Holder, as his brand new album Moods delves into personal feelings and thoughts with fearless honesty.
Beginning with the aptly revealing Emilia, we’re introduced to a songwriter blending folk lyrics and tones, a raw recording style and a full-band support, to instantly create a contrast between the longing of the protagonist and this otherwise bright and rhythmic arrangement.
Strong grooves continue to play a clear role, while genre appears merely an after-effect of a heartfelt writing process. Breathe, for instance, presents a more immersive, almost grunge-like vibe, with electronic overtones and an again brighter melodic thread to juxtapose the turmoil in the writing.
Ten original tracks make up the project Moods, consistently eclectic and increasingly engaging. Jake Holder stands out as an intriguing songwriter, crafting works that fall somewhere between Radiohead and Bob Dylan.
Suzie is a fine example of this fusion of qualities, and is perhaps the point at which Holder boldly establishes himself as a recognizable creative. The guitar-play shines well, and Blues One follows this up with style and acoustic purity.
With Her is another highlight on a similar note, both regretful and hopeful, leaning towards influence from the Beatles or Beach Boys for its celebratory chorus.
An impressive album, something of a slow-burner but distinctly rewarding when you stick around throughout this conceptually open and musically authentic journey. I look forward to catching a live show.