Blind On A Galloping Horse (Heavenly)
Blind On A Galloping Horse is Belfast-born David Holmes’ first album since 2008’s The Holy Pictures: marking the first time his own vocals featured on a record, it was a deeply personal affair which documented his early life during the Troubles and paid tribute to his family. Its Eno-like flourishes, too, differed from its predecessor, the guest-filled and riotous Bow Down To The Exit Sign, inspired by soul and the MC5.
Holmes has not been absent from the studio in recent years: he was in the process of producing songs for a new Sinead O’Connor album before her death in July of this year, has scored film and TV productions including Ordinary Love and Killing Eve, and been a member of LA-based three-pieve Unloved. With Blind On A Galloping Horse, Raven Violet (a previous Unloved guest member) provides vocals as Holmes conjures up an electronic postpunk/pop-drenched sound with songs that emotionally connect.
The album is by no means a downbeat listening experience. Necessary Genius brilliantly pays homage to outsiders, O’Connor and Andrew Weatherall both posthumously namechecked alongside other mavericks, and Stop Apologising is an empowering rallying cry with an infectious Giorgio Moroder-like electronic pulse. While rooting for outsiders and the displaced, this album makes for a thought-provoking soundtrack for cruel, angry and turbulent times. David Holmes has struck a chord with this extraordinary album.
words DAVID NOBAKHT