When Berlin’s clubs have closed and the meme that resonates most is the one where everyone forsakes their usual endless scrolling for jogs in Tiergarten during a quarantine, the general consensus is to get back to the basics.
These days, even I have set aside my bangiest darkwave numbers in favor of something more organic, wholesome and completely devoid of synth. Yes my friends, I am talking about folk music. Raw poetry ruminating on the grittiness of everyday life set to the warm plucking of acoustic guitars– which is exactly what Berlin-based Seed Holden have done with their most recent release.
“The glittering chaos one would envision when remembering the bevvy of colourful characters drinking alcoholic beverages in every conceivable public footpath of Kreuzberg”
Seed Holden’s latest record ‘Soldier On’ fully embodies its title. There is a quiet strength indicative of the culmination of a formative life chapter. The opening track ‘Pay’ is sombre and minimal, whereas the layered arrangements on the following song, ‘Royal Canal’ recreates the glittering chaos one would envision when remembering the bevvy of colourful characters drinking alcoholic beverages in every conceivable public footpath of Kreuzberg.
An honest apology for the shortcomings of a lost soul
My favourite track would have to be ‘Two and a Half Days’, a cheerful and upbeat tune with jangly guitars reminiscent of some of the more country-influenced material written by Gene Clark for The Byrds. ‘Rabbit Hole’ is an honest apology for shortcomings of a lost soul who is hardly capable of more than contemplating outside an east-side spaeti. The record concludes with dreamy ‘Sedmica’ where breathy vocals emulate themes of departure and letting go.
On the whole, ‘Soldier On’ is an entirely unpretentious record which honestly details the sometimes trying life of a sensitive soul in Berlin, a city which famously brings out the most melancholy works in the artists it draws in.