It’s a new song for a new era, the storm within the calm. Tyler Holmes has the voice of both sinner and saint, preacher and pew, a triumphant string quartet on the deck of the Titanic. You ought to recognise the devilishly amorphous R&B villain from heroic Ratskin Records releases SPORT: DELUXE and Invisible Island, but in fact you won’t recognise much of them in this surprise single “Everything (Will Be Destroyed)” from an upcoming EP, appropriately titled Devil. With cheery mellotron alongside mournful cello, the minimalist Holmes is somehow more stripped-down than ever before.
One might be left wondering why the artist has chosen to tease the new EP with a song in which they barely sing, sparsely cooing and finger-snapping before some Philip Glass-esque classical arpeggios take centre stage. And there won’t be any answers. It’s the funeral music for a world we never knew.
Holmes draws as much in their sound from Trent Reznor and Mariah Carey alike, but this startling reinvention may be the first glimmer of a Tyler Holmes qua Tyler Holmes. Gone are the erotic industrial sounds, the sultry mid-aughts funk and futuristic diva-rap from recent albums and demos. Soon we may be reviewing new albums by new singers unmistakably influenced by Holmes, and we’ll look back on this song as the watershed moment when that Tyler Holmes sound was born. Don’t miss this indispensable piece of history.