It's ten years – too, too long - since we heard Holly Tomas' voice on “Oubliette”. But to say “her voice” doesn't say it all: there is a presence, a sensitivity and passion in her voice and her writing which mesmerises.
At last, we have two new tracks from her. The first, Espero, opens to a church-like vocal soundscape, then Holly's voice enters, quiet, assured, almost confidential. This is an invocation, a meditation, a prayer which soars, swoops and returns lightly, gently to its conclusion: “There's a peace in this, a murmuring of the soul and so I wait and wish it to be so”. The whole is ravishing. One wants it to last longer, to wallow in the warmth of the sound, but such is the succinctness of her writing that it says exactly what it says. Play it once and you'll play it again and again and again.
The second, The White of Your Bed, is something else entirely. The theme is leaving a relationship, but it's much more than that. Lyrics are pared to a minimum, like pointers, signposts, carrying the listener into his or her own experiences of “leavings”. Over a gentle acoustic guitar, her voice poises, mantra-like as if trying to convince herself; behind, there's a startling – verging on harsh - background of treated electric pianos, saxaphone, which nag like insistent thoughts. This is new ground. She's ploughing her own path. There are few who are venturing in such a distinct way (Scott Walker briefly comes to mind, but without his objective angst). It may take a few listenings to get into, but stick with it. This is great stuff! Poetry!
More! More! More! James Bryce - Actor, musician and writer