Holy Other Held

Holy OtherHeld
Often the most affecting albums are those you put on as background listening, intending to do something productive, and then all of a sudden the album finishes and you realise you've just spent the duration motionless, staring at a single ceiling tile. Held, the debut album by Holy Other, is one of those records. Blending the ethereal ambiance of Cocteau Twins with a nautical, melodic, post-dubstep sensibility, the Manchester, UK producer weaves a beautifully slow-burning blend of UK Garage and skewed R&B. Following up last year's excellent With U EP, which ended up on many electronic yearend lists, the album is allegedly about feeling trapped in a relationship that isn't working, and that feeling of resignation is a constant throughout the mere 35 minutes of Held. In the wake of the recent bass explosion, there's no shortage of artists making similar music, but few of them are anywhere near as compelling. (Tri Angle)