Tyler holmes

Photo:  urheinous

Photo: urheinous

TYLER HOLMES (They/Them) is a singer-songwriter, visual and performance artist who uses music as therapeutic device. Coming from a turbulent and traumatic ‘cult-like’ early life, Holmes has spent a lifetime crafting their own Black, Queer narrative by pushing the limits of their imagination. In a constant state of reinvention they make a mixtape of every moment, from song to song the audience is getting a wholly different animal. Holmes has a chameleonic singing style that ranges from Folk inflected whispers, to morose Goth wails, to Gospel bellows. Envisioning themself as the imaginary child of Björk and Tricky, Tyler Holmes is on an isthmus between Trip Hop and Experimental Pop. They use a surrealist lens on a wide variety of genres, often blending diaristic narratives with dark, dream-like whimsy. Autobiographical and absurd, their writing is alluring and uncomfortable. Both brutal and beautiful, bringing the audience into a shared space of healing and catharsis. They perform with a constantly changing electro-acoustic arrangement, always finding new ways to showcase an intimate horror. Most recently Holmes' released their music video "Nothing" via Paper Magazine. In 2019/20 they released a series of EP’s and Spring 2021 marks the release of their highly anticipated new LP “Nightmare In Paradise” on Ratskin Records.

Nightmare In Paradise

Tyler Holmes

“Nightmare In Paradise” ​by​ ​Tyler Holmes ​was written in the wake of a violent trauma that Holmes and tour mates experienced on their last night in Puerto Rico at the end of an otherwise blissful tour. Holmes stayed behind with longtime collaborator and friend San Cha to care for their injured bandmate, taking shifts sleeping on a hospital floor and staying with friends in downtown San Juan. Upon returning stateside, Holmes experienced intense PTSD, bouts of agoraphobia, and extreme ongoing stomach pain. The symptoms drove them to composition as a survival tool and means to process extreme dark thoughts, anxieties and emotions. Initially the project began as acoustic guitar demos sounding like Hole’s MTV Unplugged performance remixed by Tricky, the songs eventually morphed into the electro-acoustic aquarium that the album contains now​.
Despite the album’s violent and chaotic conceptual underpinnings,​ ​“Nightmare In Paradise” i​s the culmination of many years of ​toil, struggle, scrapping and re-editing, crying and singing, ultimately rebirthing ​the most complex and nuanced musical offering yet from Bay Area artist Tyler Holmes. ​“Nightmare In Paradise” is H​olmes’ most refined and deliberate distillation of concept and composition working in a complicated and refined harmony. Through even more delicate and nuanced vocal presentation across the twelve songs, beds of layered acoustic guitar, minimal electronics, cello and woodwinds, Holmes has refined their hybridization of Electronic / Folk / R&B and Modern Black Classical music to a feverish crescendo on ​“Nightmare In Paradise”.​

“I’ve been calling this my ‘adult-contemporary’ album because it is leagues softer than anything I’ve ever released, especially as a collection. This work was created as a document of my personal recovery from a very violent traumatic event and maps my experience with healing, PTSD, and illness. If the record is soft, or soothing, it is so because I needed to tell the story that way to make it palatable to process for myself. I needed to channel brutality through a healing lens to be able to recount the experience.”

The album features 12 players across its 12 tracks and a duet co-produced by LA’s GESS. Holmes’ uncanny ability to constantly reinvent and reimagine their own compositions through the addition of live players, remixes, in both expanded and minimal forms shines through on several tracks on the album, highlighted through lush strings and wind sections, such as on the lead track ​“Confuse Me”​.

These moments aren’t beautiful accidents however, rather delicately wrapped sonic gifts in musical form. Pulling from genres as disparate as Harsh Noise and Dop-Wop, Holmes breathes life into their own uniquely personal sonic and conceptual world.

Holmes states​ ​“I wanted to create a white space. A clean slate; where emotions (no matter how painful) could present themselves fluidly and be wiped clean. To process the traumas and tribulations one by one, each feeling a colorful gesture on blank canvas. Each wound here for a moment and then passing off into the void to make way for the next.”

The album’s lead single and visual “​Confuse Me​,” ​a breakup song written as a reflection in the aftermath of a long tumultuous romance​. Minimal synths, electronics and horns lay delicately below Holmes’ breathy, layered vocals. On ​“Confuse Me”​ Holmes channels a reflecting pool of emotion, building intricate architectural structures within a single feeling or experience, providing the listener with an intimate window into the destruction and need for rebuilding which informed the album. Through precision and stark, pop minimalism- the listener is transported into ​a space​ where Holmes is oftentimes present in the space, whispering out of the speakers. Other times, the lyrics reflect inwardly on Holmes own subjective orientation to the story (talking to themself,) but never closing the listener off completely. Holmes has allowed us into their vivid universe as an observer, friend and perhaps even on occasion, the subject. Like a jellyfish following an unknown torrent, we float through the rich sonic landscape of “​Nightmare In Paradise '' a​ nd all of it’s vivid conceptual dichotomies. Rich in feeling, form, and execution, ​“Nightmare in Paradise'' w​ ill appease fans from ​Bjork​, ​FKA Twigs​, ​Xiu Xiu,​ and ​Florist​, while simultaneously carrying them to spaces untouched by these names adorned to so many of us.

Nightmare In Paradise:
01 Heart Token
02 Confuse Me
03 Concrete Balloon
04 The Girl You Knew
05 To Accept
06 Song
07 Moss
08 Eden
09 Hold Me Ghost
10 Nightmare In Paradise 11 Guts
12 Canvas


Biography:
TYLER HOLMES (They/Them) is a singer-songwriter, visual and performance artist who uses music as therapeutic device. Coming from a turbulent and traumatic ‘cult-like’ early life, Holmes has spent a lifetime crafting their own Black, Queer narrative by pushing the limits of their imagination. In a constant state of reinvention they make a mixtape of every moment, from song to song the audience is getting a wholly different animal. Holmes has a chameleonic singing style that ranges from Folk inflected whispers, to morose Goth wails, to Gospel bellows. Envisioning themself as the imaginary child of Björk and Tricky, Tyler Holmes is on an isthmus between Trip Hop and Experimental Pop. They use a surrealist lens on a wide variety of genres, often blending diaristic narratives with dark, dream-like whimsy. Autobiographical and absurd, their writing is alluring and uncomfortable. Both brutal and beautiful, bringing the audience into a shared space of healing and catharsis. They perform with a constantly changing electro-acoustic arrangement, always finding new ways to showcase an intimate horror. Most recently Holmes' released their music video "​Nothing​" via Paper Magazine. In 2019/20 they released a series of EP’s and Spring 2021 marks the release of their highly anticipated new LP ​“Nightmare In Paradise”​ on ​Ratskin Records​.

More Information:
ratskin.org/tylerholmes
instagram.com/thetylerholmes
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/6:05
  2. 2
    0:00/4:29
  3. 3
    0:00/2:35
  4. 4
    0:00/2:41
  5. 5
    0:00/2:53
  6. 6
    Song 2:18
    0:00/2:18
  7. 7
    Moss 2:03
    0:00/2:03
  8. 8
    Eden 2:59
    0:00/2:59
  9. 9
    0:00/3:56
  10. 10
    0:00/3:56
  11. 11
    Guts 2:50
    0:00/2:50
  12. 12
    0:00/4:19

Nothing

Tyler Holmes

For their new two song EP, “Nothing” Oakland, CA based producer and multi-disciplinary artist and Ratskin Records collective member Tyler Holmes offers us two brand new compositions “Nothing” and “ Rinse [Breath Play]” Through intense voice and breath manipulation backed with their minimal yet powerfully presented electronic based compositions, nodding to Holly Herndon, Xiu Xiu, and Cocorosie, Holmes offers two forcefully elegant and haunting tracks both separate from but in dialogue with their upcoming full length LP “Nightmare In Paradise” on Ratskin in Fall 2020. Holmes once again tightropes a complex web of emotion, sound and movement within their own sonic world into a pair of sonically powerful worlds. We hope you appreciate these beautiful electronic compositions as much as we do. \


Reviews/Press:
"DEVIL" Review In : The Wire Adventures in Modern Music - November 2019
Astral Noize UK
https://astralnoizeuk.com/2020/04/15/sleeve-notes-005-ratskin-records/
“...the daring noise-meets-R&B of Tyler Holmes...Holmes is a perfect example of Ratskin’s role in the scene, their experimental sound splicing the harsh with the playful and thus seemingly appealing to no established genre.”
Underscore Music Magazine:
https://www.underscoremusicmagazine.com/stream-tyler-holmes-everything-will-be-destroyed/
"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."
More Info / Links:
Music Video For “Two Tylers” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzwaiK9v_gU https://www.ratskin.org/artists/tylerholmes.html
https://tylerholmes.bandcamp.com/


TYLER HOLMES (They/Them) is a music producer, singer-songwriter, and performance artist who uses music as a therapeutic device. Holmes creates a manic digital-age take on soul singing by blending a variety of vocal genres including R&B, Folk, Goth and Gospel. Autobiographical and absurd, their writing is alluring and uncomfortable, both brutal and beautiful, bringing the audience into a shared space of healing and catharsis. They perform with constantly changing electro-acoustic arrangements, always finding new ways to showcase an intimate horror.
This summer Holmes released 'Devil' on Ratskin Records, and created a music video for the single "Two Tylers' with Berkeley auteur Chani Bockwinkel. The video tackles themes of cults, domestic violence and control and how these themes interact with and affect queer black and brown people. 'Devil' also features 'Everything [Will Be Destroyed]' with Bay Area queer cellist Peekaboo, which was recorded as the theme for 'CAMP CHAOS' starring Matthew Camp for Men.com.

This summer Holmes' also released a drag gaymer music video with L.F.C., their post-VR girl-group with vainhein [Daddies Plastik] entitled 'How Did I Get Into This Bikini.' Tyler also wrote and recorded the theme for Men.com’s inaugural scene interpreting the iconic “Tom Of Finland’ also starring Matthew Camp called ‘Untitled,1957.’ Most recently, they released an EP of unreleased and rare material: “HER IS” for Bandcamp Day.
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/4:18
  2. 2
    0:00/9:30

Devil

TYLER HOLMES

Tyler Holmes has crafted another deep, nuanced, and starkly honest EP titled “DEVIL” which is out on Ratskin Records August 30, 2019. The first visual “Two Tylers” recently premiered via The Bay Bridged to critical acclaim. “Two Tylers” is a visually stunning and conceptually complex execution of the minimally stark track, telling the story of the dualities of life and all of it’s intricate complexities. Holmes pulls from Chris and Cosey, Bjork and FKA Twigs for a soft and hypnotic vocal delivery backed with minimal, murmuring synths, selective percussion and a haunting tension gluing the tracks together. “DEVIL” is the next evolution in Holmes constant refining of their sonic palette, stripping out the maximalist approach that was used on previous releases and focuses on sonic archteypes that twist and turn the production into a beautiful, albeit slightly unsettling EP. Their three previous releases, “Invisible Island” , “DEMO” and “SPORT: Deluxe” all displayed uniquely varied styles of experimental electronic offerings, blending electro pop, noise, industrial, hip hop, and neo-classical, all uniquely gelled within radicalized, queer framework, exploring both the self and the community that they artistically operate within. “DEVIL” is the sonic continuum of all three of these works, distilled down to their strongest components, which give “DEVIL” a refreshing yet familiar sonic palette for Holmes fans to grasp onto. The first single, “Everything (Will Be Destroyed)” was commissioned and written for the series “CAMP CHAOS’ featuring Matthew Camp.



“DEVIL” serves as the prologue to the forthcoming LP “Nightmare In Paradise” due out on Ratskin Records in Spring 2020



“As a child my father told me all the ways I could and would allow the devil into my life and why this would send me to hell. This EP maps the ways we create a self fulfilling prophecy because we are told we are inherently “evil.” we search out the “devil” and allow it into our bodies, minds and lives. Resulting in the living hell we were promised by our fathers. We make it true because we think we deserve it.” - Tyler Holmes
Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    0:00/2:10
  2. 2
    0:00/4:24
  3. 3
    Devil 5:37
    0:00/5:37
  4. 4
    0:00/2:24
  5. 5
    0:00/17:04
" Nightmare In Paradise continues a trajectory with an unprecedented gentleness that - much like artists like XIU XIU and Serpentwithfeet - only serves to highlight its underlying darkness ." ” - Claire Biddles, The Wire

— - The Wire: Adventures In Modern Music

PRESS

 

TYLER HOLMES "Nightmare In Paradise" Review in QUEER FORTY - June 2021 

TYLER HOLMES "Nightmare In Paradise" Review in - FOXY DIGITALIS - April 2021

TYLER HOLMES "Nightmare In Paradise" - BEST NEW SONGS BY QUEER ARTISTS - THEM MAGAZINE - March 2021 

 "Tyler Holmes Navigates Trauma Through Softer Sounds" Feature / Interview on 48 HILLS - May 2021 

TYLER HOLMES "Nightmare In Paradise" Review in RADICAL ART REVIEW - March 2021 

"Patience and Peace"  Feature / Interview in SLUG MAGAZINE - March 2021 


 

OLDER PRESS 

TYLER HOLMES Feature in PAPER MAGAZINE  -  August 2020

TYLER HOLMES  "Nightmare In Paradise"  Reviewed in the March 2021 Issue Of The WIRE: Adventures In Modern Music: 

TYLER HOLMES "Nothing" Review in "The Bay Bridged" - March 2020 

TYLER HOLMES Interview In "Tome Top The Weather Machine" - March 2020 

TYLER HOLMES "Nothing" Review In Houdini Mansions - March 2020 

"Tyler Holmes Is Here For Your Inner Freak" - Nastia Voynovskaya, November 2017 

Tyler Holmes "DEMO" Review at Houdini Mansions - Gray Lee, January 2018