Christian Cohle: Holy Trouble – Don’t judge a book by its first three chapters

Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 05:00


Holy Trouble

Christian Cohle



It’s true what they say about first impressions: they really do matter. So if you’d never heard any of Christian Cohle’s music and ventured into his debut album with no preconceptions or expectations, the first three tracks might well cause you to do a U-turn.

The Dublin multi-instrumentalist and electro-pop producer has been pitched as Ireland’s answer to James Blake, but the clunky, dated 1990s production of Breathe, the slo-mo emotion of Ghost and the cheesy lyrics of the title track sound more like a sub-par version of Manchester duo Hurts at best.

Luckily, Cohle’s creativity and imagination take a necessary upturn for the remainder of the tracklist. The slow electronic patter of Drown Me Slow is eked out piece by piece, the icy experimentation proving a satisfying foil to Cohle’s soulful vocals.

Christian Cohle: Wallflower (official video)

The comparisons with Blake are more discernible on The Dying Sun, its syncopated synths cascading against a quaking squall of noise. Wallflower takes a similar approach, its dark undercurrent set against effects-laden synthpop, and the glitchy Pride is infinitely more danceable. Elsewhere, the moody ’80s tone of Blue Nights is almost too brazenly in thrall to an act like Anohni.

This is an imperfect album, for sure, but there are some promising moments dotted throughout these 10 tracks that certainly make Cohle worthy of investigation.