Monday, September 23, 2013

Chris Holm - Kilos (2013)

After quite a bit of teasing and endorsements from Sondre Lerche and Young Dreams, Norwegian guitarist Chris Holm's debut album Kilos finally sees the light of day after a year in limbo. Thanks to Lerche and his wife Mona who directed a music for the first single, we've heard "When I Die" and it's been a year full of anticipation, at least for me.

From album opener, "H.A.A.R.P." with it's rap sampling tropicalia fusion, you're not exactly sure what you're going to get with Kilos and that's perhaps the most exciting thing about it. Chris Holm's debut is an album of fun but worthwhile experimentation. Occasionally balmy interludes ("Problem with You", "You Know the Drill"), jangly guitar pop ("When I Die"), and jazzy grooves ("Raleigh's Peak", "Bicycle"), Kilos is the kind of album that never does the same thing twice and contains some driveby moments of lyrical prowess like "Sealed" "Love is a lie but I want to taste it", it's an album that contains within it some rather dark subjects (the forerunner being "Violence Comes from Silence") dressed up rather vibrantly but just short of obscuring what's actually being said.

Kilos is a scenic exploration of Chris Holm's musical influences and multi-instrumentalist talents that despite it's various genre leaps manages to remain coherent and enjoyable. It's an album that's very clearly of Holm's own make, retaining a certain one man starkness regardless of amount of instruments you hear. It's the introduction of a man who for the majority of his career has stayed out of the spotlight electing instead to contribute stealthily to the the whole. And Holm's solo debut, comes across very much so. It's an album of charming musical moments and clever experimentations that doesn't insist on its own glory. Kilos is an collection of Holm's musical thoughts quietly stewing in his own brilliant talents waiting to be discovered.

Kilos is out now digitally on Éllet Records and is available for streaming on Spotify.

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