MIMR Band Chat: James Holt

Here at MIMR our intention is always to bring you the acts that we think are destined for big things and our next act fits the bill perfectly. James Holt is a manchester based singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist who has done his time around the manchester music scene, ever enhancing his growing following.

MIMR were lucky enough to chat to James about his music including his upcoming new single

MIMR: Hey James, how has your year been so far and tell us all about your new single?

James: Good year so far, finishing my studies, playing some super cool shows, recording, writing. New single ‘Whatever Happened to John?’ comes out on 7th July!

MIMR: Manchester has a great variety of places to gig at to suit all different types of music, which of these has been your favourite to play as a performer?

James: I work for Brighter Sound at Band On the Wall and I’ve had the pleasure of playing on that stage a few times – the sound is top notch and their Funk & Soul Night’s are quality. Love playing at the Deaf Institute too, Night & Day, Gullivers/Castle and Sound Control (that has recently been announced to be changed to accommodation, but I’ve heard that they have plans to relocate and be bigger and better than before so I’m excited to see where that leads!)

MIMR: What influences and inspirations do you pick from when writing your songs?

James: I read a lot and whatever themes I’ve been reading about inevitably find their way into the lyrics. Songs can be stories in themselves so I often try and conceive the narrative before writing any lyrics, other times I may just let the song flow and see where it ends up. I listen to and play lots of different music (I play piano in a restaurant so I play a lot of jazz/classical – e.g. Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Debussy, Chopin – I also play cello so spent time in orchestras) and you can hear shades of that in my music – for example, I use jazz harmony a lot (extended chords, and modal and progressive chord changes) and I also experiment time signatures to create interesting sounds and rhythms. TIP – (In my opinion) to be a good song writer you should have a healthy inner monologue.

MIMR: Being a solo performer must be a lonely furrow sometimes, if you could of been a member in any band past or present which one would it be and why?

James: On a normal day I probably would’ve said The Beatles – but then I wonder what my role would be, how would I fit in with two/three of the greatest songwriters of all time? I would have to BE John, Paul or George (not Ringo, nobody wants to be Ringo). Anyway, today is not a normal day so I’d probably go with LOVE, Jimi Hendrix Experience or Pink Floyd – I’d prefer to jam with them than actually be in the bands.

MIMR: Thanks for Chatting to MIMR, wish you all the best with the new single and the rest of the year. How can people check the single out and follow you on social media?

James: It’ll be on all the major evil corporate websites from 7th July or you can check out the video now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRAHnzPERR0


Website: https://www.jamesholtmusic.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamesholtmusic 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/jamesholtmusic 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5RU4BAi19LHkaPFcE1USkb 

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jamesholtmusic

MIMR Best Of 2017 so far: EPs

Has it already been half of 2017 gone and wow has there been some eye-popping records out there. Here’s MIMR annual rundown of some of these which have caught the blogs attention this year: starting with the top 25 EPs

25. King Kartel ‘Part Of The Plan

24. The Vinyl Reprisal ‘Graffiti’

23. Callow Saints ‘Twisted Hazel’

22. Sisteray ’15 Minutes’

21. Sleeptalking ‘Oh Isn’t it Strange’

20. Maddie Jones ‘Dis-ar-ray’

19. Beach Royals ‘Trap Door Music’

18. The 99 Degree ‘Boot Hill Surf Club’

17. The Night Cafe ‘Get Away From The Feeling’

16. Pleasure House ‘Sentient’

15. Lyerr ‘In Principio’

14. Useless Cities ‘New Feelings’

13. RobotAlien ‘High Hopes’

12. AccroGeist ‘Something To Repair Me’

11. Jellyskin ‘Jellyskin’

10. Ambiere ‘Tree Of Life’

9. Bruja ‘Evil Creepy’

8. The Immediate ‘Mold EP’

7. Colour Of Spring ‘e.p’

6. Campfire Social ‘Wellbeing’

5. Gravves ‘Rattle’

4. Peaness ‘Are You Sure’

3. Kidsmoke ‘Save Your Sorrow’

2. Crimsons ‘Shy Talk’

1. La Bete Blooms ‘I Know It’s Nothing’

MIMR Band Chat: Sprinters

Super chuffed to have this next band on the blog, Indie newcomers Sprinters have been one of the most listened to bands on MIMR this year and Neil from the band took the time out to reveal all about their excellent debut record and their future plans.

MIMR: Great to have one of MIMR favourite bands at the moment on the blog, the excellent Sprinters. Hey, how would you best describe your sound to a new listener and what influences are most dominant in creating your sound?

Neil: We used to say Neil Young with flangers, but now Indie Rock. Definitely swaying more towards American Indie bands. Pavement have always been a big influence on me. And Sonic Youth. But I was never good enough on guitar to play Sonic Youth style songs. It’s a lot more chilled than that though and quite melon-collie. Some major influences are The Replacements, Guided By Voices, Ducktails, Ariel Pink, John Martyn, Neil Young, The Feelies, loads of stuff like that. 

MIMR: MIMR is loving your debut album, how was this produced and was it everything you wanted it to be when it was completed?

Neil: I had released a few solo albums under my own name and some of these songs came from those albums. They were very lo-fi recordings and didn’t do the songs justice so I wanted to record some in a studio. We recorded it in Wigan with our good friend Ste Jones (from the band Moco) last year. It took a lot longer then expected, and I spent 4 months mixing it on and off. Overall it took about a year to get in the bag. But I’m pleased with how it came out. We’re recording our second album this summer but hope we can get it done by Christmas this time! 

MIMR: Festival season is in full flow and theres certainly plenty around. What’s been your best experience at a festival either in a band or as a spectator?

Neil: We have nothing in the pipeline this year unfortunately. But my favourite is Sounds From The Other City in Salford. It’s always a great atmosphere. Another to look out for is ‘Gathering In The Woods’ festival in Windermere we’ve played there a few times and love it.

MIMR: Which other records have you admired this year?

Neil: Thundercat – Drunk 

Lab Coast – Lab Coast 

Holy Wave – Freaks of Nurture

Former Bullies – Stranger  

Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood – Myths 002

MIMR: Thanks for chatting to MIMR and we look forward to catching you at a live show in the near future. How can people follow your movements and get their hands on your album?

Neil: You can buy our new album on vinyl over at our bandcamp (www.sprinters.bandcamp.com) or listen in the usual places.  

Our next Manchester gig is at Common Bar on the 26th of August. We’re also playing a gig in Wigan in July at Cross Streets Arts on the 21st July. And have a tour planned for September.