We first heard from adult-pop artist E.G. Holmes by way of his single Time to Rest, which we found to be “a powerful track with a universally understood message“. Now Holmes is back with a full-length album by the same name, just released on Bongo Boy Records on April 2nd. This fourteen-track affair accentuates all the strength of Holmes and his supporting musicians, creating a sophisticated and soulful listening experience that is dynamic, well-composed, evocative, and relatable.
Time to Rest begins with Hot Blooded 4 U, a guitar-rich and bluesy number that’s only accentuated by the featured horns section. This track is smoky and sultry, reminiscent of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love”. The featured vocals from David Vanden Enden are a perfect fit for this track; strong, confident, and effortlessly carrying the song’s fun, party feel with a romantic undertone.
Mysterious takes us in another direction, a piano-led track that has plenty of grit and rock undertones. The main melody is catchy and accessible, elevated even further from the soulful vocal stylings of Karl Knutson. It’s a great melding of musical intensity and pop sensibilities – a complex arrangement underneath a melody that’s both familiar and fresh.
Living up to the feeling wholly created by the title alone is Jamba Jambalaya. A tropical fusion of percussion and classical guitar, this track transports you to a beach bar on a faraway island on a warm night. It’s fully immersive in its depictions of dark and dramatic romance and is capped perfectly with a smattering of tasty guitar riffs throughout.
Cool Changes has a bright and sunny acoustic guitar intro that grabs the ear immediately. This track has almost an Americana flair, full of compelling vocal harmonies and tied together by the subtle presence of the organ. The guitar solos across this album are frequently impressive, regularly intricate without being showy – but the one in the second half of this track has a particular ark and flair that are especially fun to listen to.
We lean even further into the country sound on Whiskey Joes. The vocals from John Ruddle have a particularly warm and welcome twang that fits the working-man-in-hard-times message of this track. It’s a classic story – the workday is over and the bar is calling – but by the end of it you’ll wish you were heading down to Whiskey Joes yourself to forget your troubles over a drink or two.
We also love Wash My Soul in the Summer Rain. A stand-out ballad on this album, the arrangement of strings and keys together makes for a stunning foundation for this track. It also features some of the most captivating lyric work on this project. It’s evocative and poetic, without ever being overdone.
“Look back on life not well lived, yeah
Too much on the table that was left
Done things that still haunt me through the years
Things I can’t forget
The sun is blocked by clouds, that takes away the pain,
Wash my soul in the summer rain.”
There’s brilliance all over this album. Time to Rest is so clearly orchestrated and executed by top-notch musicians at every step of the process. These songs are beautifully written, expertly performed, and tied together with exceedingly high-level production. The group that E.G. Holmes has assembled here is nothing short of an all-star cast, and the resulting music is all you need to see the proof of that. Genre crossing, boundary-pushing, well-rounded musical compositions that blend seamlessly together as one cohesive project – this is an album where there truly is a little something for everyone. Time to Rest is out now on Bongo Boy Records, and whether you’re a blues fan or a piano ballad enthusiast, this one is worth a listen.
BELOW: Listen to Time to Rest and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support E.G. Holmes by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!