Musician Chris Holmes Embarks On New Stage
All things in life happen in stages, from the little things to the big ones. Listening habits come and go, with newfound favorites added to our playlists. Love grows (or fades) as we discover more about ourselves over time. Of course, the year is fashioned into four separate seasons — although in Hawaii we mostly have just two: wet and dry — that provide a solid reference point with which to live our lives.
Honolulu-based songwriter Chris Holmes of jangly pop band The Rightovers (formerly Conceptus) told me about the stages he’s been through to get to where he is now: ready to release Blue Blood, the band’s first release under its new name and its first time ever on vinyl.
The band always has been something of a one-man project, with Chris writing and recording songs on his own but forming a full band to perform live.
Ever inclined to talk about records, I asked Chris: “Why press Blue Blood to vinyl?”
“Because I feel like this release marks a new chapter in my life,” Chris responded.
His band recently had adopted a new name: The Rightovers. Their old name, Conceptus, was somewhat difficult to remember (or pronounce, for me at least). The band Conceptus formed while Chris was living in California — initially with Chris writing songs solo in his Los Angeles apartment, but then later gigging and performing as a full band when he relocated to San Diego.
Life took its next stage for Chris: Hawaii. He moved to Oahu a few years ago to pursue a master’s degree, putting the band on hold and leaving the San Diego music scene behind. His songwriting, however, didn’t stop.
“During my first summer off, I went home to my parents’ house in Sun Valley, Idaho, and recorded most of what would become Blue Blood.” Upon returning to Hawaii, Chris decided he wanted to release another album, but under a new name. Conceptus had grown tired; it was time to move forward.
To commemorate his first album as The Rightovers — and partly because he’s a big record collector himself — Chris decided to press Blue Blood to vinyl. The result is a record of 10 tunes inspired by Pavement, surfing, longing for love, and The Jesus & Mary Chain, packaged from inside-out with the color blue (including the vinyl itself!).
Blue Blood will be released March 20, the same day that spring begins. I don’t know if Chris realizes this coincidence — he admitted to settling on March 20 after delays at the record pressing plant pushed back his original release schedule — but the symbolism is apparent. It’s a new stage in life for Chris’ sunshine-drenched, jangly pop music, which will transport you straight to summer once it hits your stereo.
Pick up a copy at local record retailers or online at therightovers.bandcamp.com.
For more from Roger, check out his blog at alohagotsoul.com.