Andy Holmes is an artist from Philadelphia, PA who released Limping Through Paradise, Come Home. He mentions the album is about “themes of addiction and recovery, death and rebirth, understanding consequences and taking responsibility for the past before you bury it forever.”
This is a painfully beautiful album that uses melancholy to provide solace. Holmes plays into indie folk and rock. Artists like Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst are a good reference and not because Holmes necessarily sounds like either of these artists; however this album evokes a lot of the same emotions.
The album starts with “Christmas Eve.” I felt like the guitar embraces lo-fi aesthetics as if you were listening to your roommate play guitar. The song builds atmosphere which is warm and melancholy but not dark. I loved the tinge of yearning in his vocals. It feels real and authentic and the lyrics provide little truths that most of us experience. Take for instance how Holmes poetically explores the passage of time. He sings, “every day begins like new and dies christmas eve, you fall asleep now it's june... july…”
Up next is “Dead Skin” which adds some percussion and energy. It sounded like a great choice for a second song. It’s catchy, heartfelt, warm and tender. “Diamonds” is another impressive song. Holmes demonstrates Elliott Smith-esque guitar style on this track. As the song progresses it get surrounded with airy elements like crystal bells.
“The Burdened Hand That Holds You’ is reflective. Holmes wears his heart on his sleeve as he digs into his past and confronts addiction, bad habits and a possible way out. It’s endearing, honest and beautiful performed. Holmes continues with “For All The Others” which is another solid song. “A Heavy Rain Is Bound To Fall” is a highlight and felt like a nice breath of hope and optimism. Simon and Garfunkel came to mind. The vocal harmonies are gorgeous and there is a lot of energy from the drums and piano.
“No Passing Through” sounded like a contemporary folk song. The song sounds like it could be a folk song from the ’60s when it's stripped but the ambient Sigur Rós type elements make it feel updated. The closing song “Dirt” is meditative and serene. It’s heavy and contemplative but never crosses into melodramatic or saccharine territory.
Limping Through Paradise, Come Home is one one of the best records I have heard this year. Highly recommended.
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