There’s a neon-noir edge to Holy Trouble. An album dominated by weighty synth wave soundscapes, Christian Cohle’s debut is a highly-stylised affair buzzing with a defined intensity that contrasts with Cohle’s soaring vocal acrobatics as he pushes through the highly-stylised production.
Indeed, Holy Trouble is a record that creates a sonic world of its own making. From the opening pulsing beat of ‘Breathe’, the intricate juxtaposition at the centre of the album is brought to fore. Christian Cohle emotionally wrought lyrical and vocal phrasing is strongly support by a production that could have easily overwhelmed the artist. Instead these clashing intensity’s at the heart of Holy Trouble give an added sense of consequence to the music.
This textural contortion of Holy Trouble continues in the captivating vocal of ‘Ghost’ as Cohle leads the rising electronic backdrop through a song of dynamic twists and turns. While tracks such as ‘The Dying Sun’ and ‘Pride’ add contrast in the record’s tempo, ensuring the album never gets engulfed by its own deep-seated atmospherics while still maintaining a sense of depth.
However, it is the title-track that truly captures the imagination. Appearing in the early stages of the album, ‘Holy Trouble’ melds the established atmosphere into a song that is all about building the tension before soaring out of that space in the choruses. A track constructed from dynamic peaks and troughs, ‘Holy Trouble’ surrounds neon-shimmering electronic sound around Cohle’s deep vocal.
And so it goes, Christian Cohle’s Holy Trouble is a monolithic in its electronic atmospherics. However, a backdrop is never enough and Cohle’s strength of voice makes for a debut album that is not only highly-stylised but also emotionally resonant. A striking first foray from Christin Cohle.