Released: 22nd April 2022
The music of Baby Dave perhaps isn’t what you’d expect from his real-life alter-ego, Isaac Holman. It’s not that musically it’s from another stratosphere to Slaves’ gritty, direct, in-your-face thrust – though it’s very much not more of the same, either. It’s the fact that ‘Monkey Brain’ is so open, honest and – in a good way – deeply, unashamedly strange.
Emerging from a particularly tough period of mental health for Isaac, it’s a record that feels as much like a form of therapy for its author as it does music for the rest of us. Supported by Damon Albarn, who co-produces and plays various instruments throughout, what at first shocks soon delights. Though at times it celebrates in mundanity and the everyday, there’s deeper stuff happening beneath the surface. ‘Too Shy To Tennis’ deals with social anxiety, while ’29’ may seem like a blow-by-blow account of bus journey, but there’s joy in the vignettes contained within.
Isaac’s journey throughout ‘Monkey Brain’ is almost tangible – a reconnection with the thing he loves, it’s difficult not to be charmed.