Artist: James Holt
Title: Come Out To Play
Label: 63 Steps Records
Impact date: 1 March 2019
“It’s probably the catchiest chorus I’ve written to date, and it’s become a crowd favourite at gigs,” says singer/songwriter James Holt of his new single ‘Come Out to Play’.
‘Come Out to Play’ bridges the gap between his previous two singles, combining the pad soundscape of ‘Whispers’ with the angular unpredictability of ‘Alone Again’ but with a far more upbeat musical and lyrical theme.
The song draws inspiration from the classic songwriters of the 60/70s and also nods to Crowded House, Aztec Camera and The Smiths. One review commented that it sounded like Johnny Marr had joined the Beatles and the Beach Boys in the studio for a day.
James said, “Lyrically, the song is a journey through the life of a shy, introverted person, and their struggle to socialise – though at its core it’s an uplifting story about overcoming anxieties. There’s never an explicit reason why, but there are hints that they’re hoping for something more. (‘But I just keep holding on, for a day to reminisce on…’).
“Each verse is a different stage of his life, represented with references to different seasons, but it’s in the last verse where our character sees himself in his son and tells him not to make the same mistakes he has made.“
James provides lead vocals, backing vocals and plays all instruments apart from drums on ‘Come Out To Play’ and has – once again – brought in the production wizardry of Jim Spencer (Johnny Marr, The Charlatans). The release coincides with James’ headline show at Night People, Manchester on Saturday 1 March and then on Saturday 23 March at Academy 2, Manchester (supporting Prose and Manchester Camerata).
“Feels fresh and exciting to listen to.” – Brian Eno
“Love James’ voice on that new single. S
oundinggreat”. John Kennedy Radio X
BBC Introducing Manchester have been huge supporters of James. Co-presenter/producer, and Michelle Hussey commented, “It’s beautiful with definite echoes of Cherry Ghost.“
Another radio champion, Jim Salveson from XS Manchestersaid, “It sounds very Beatles-esque and – here’s a massive compliment – vocally it sounds very John Lennon.”
“Very talented, very wonderful – absolutely love his voice.” Natalie BBC Introducing Manchester.
“With an arresting voice that is reminiscent of John Lennon or early Bob Dylan, wily lyrics and an upbeat weave of rock, prog and blues, it’s obvious to see why his remarkable music is turning heads.” Louise Dodgson, The Unsigned Guide.