Holm is the solo project of Danish multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Holm-Silkjær, and the latest iteration of an impressive musical trajectory that has seen him record and play with Yung, Brooch, Tears, Urban Achievers, and Happy Hookers for Jesus.
At just 23 and with a discography already in double figures, Holm-Silkjær is nothing if not prolific. Yet his work as Holm might prove to be his most complete. While previous projects were often collaborative, all four songs on Dappled, his debut EP for Tough Love, were written, recorded, performed, and mixed by Holm-Silkjær himself in a shared rehearsal space.
This resourcefulness has long been characteristic of the music he makes, defined by an overarching DIY ethos that has also seen him champion the music of others through the two record labels he runs (100 and Shordwood, the latter of which also released the first Holm recordings as a 7") and the organisation of numerous live events in both Aarhus and Copenhagen.
Those familiar with Holm-Silkjær's other music will certainly recognise Dappled as his - that unmistakable metallic vocal, brash chiming guitars, and a preternatural melodic sensibility. Where Dappled differs from previous work, however, is in song structure, most obviously on 'Hope' and 'Grow', the opening and closing tracks respectively.
Though anchored by recurring motifs (not quite choruses!), these are sprawling and explorative songs, matched by lyrics unusually insightful and clear-sighted for someone so young. Take the neat double-meaning in the repeated coda of 'Grow' for example: "I’m growing, growing, growing, this arrangement, it’s not in tune".
In that line there's a convenient way of understanding what Holm-Silkjær has arrived at with Dappled - a relatable reflection on finding personal identity through his own ever-evolving music. Holm is, after-all, his own name.
3. Erase and Repeat
Release Date: 04/05/2018