David Holmes - The Holy Pictures (3 stars)

David Holmes - The Holy Pictures

David Holmes - The Holy Pictures (Mercury)

According to Holmes his fourth solo album began as a cluster of instrumental tracks which lead him into a creative cul-de-sac until seismic events in his life – becoming a dad, the death of his parents – inspired him to pen some personal lyrics and – for the first time – sing them himself. The result is a much more low-key record than his previous solo efforts, although there are trace elements of Let’s Get Killed’s funky electronica and … Presents the Free Association’s banging electro.

Opening track ‘I Heard Wonders’ sounds like upbeat Velvet Underground, while ‘Story of the Ink’ plays like a Jesus and Mary Chain dirge and closer ‘The Ballad of Sarah and Jack’ might have been written by Daniel Johnston, despite being about Holmes’ late parents. Those expecting another soul-fuelled DJ compilation or a groovy film soundtrack will be disappointed. Those willing to open their ears will discover a whole new musical landscape mapped out by the Belfast lad.

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