Video Premiere: Tyler Holmes & Ah Mer Ah Su – “Heal Spell”

Posted by on March 14, 2017

For the last several years, Oakland singer and electronic composer Tyler Holmes has had a particular work in progress kicking around. Though nevertheless a damn good song, a fertile bed of soil for a full symphony, this one was still waiting for something. Enter Ah Mer Ah Su, another energetic local singer with a signature flavor. The two have packed dance clubs to the gills with an aura at once uninhibited and elegant, daring and demure. It’s both no surprise and still totally astounding that their collaboration on “Heal Spell” looks, sounds, and feels so magical. “I met with Ah Mer Ah Su and it fell into place in a couple of days. The words were inspired by her and a general urgency we both had for healing,” Holmes tells us.

Here we see a lusher, denser aesthetic than anything prior. Holmes’ sampled bongos, xylophones, and seashells, with Ah Mer Ah Su’s delicate layered vocal hooks are all a stark departure from barebones, noisy industrial hits of previous years (witness my personal favorite, “Dehydration.”) After playing at a festival near IDA, Tennessee the duo found the ideal setting in a nearby riverbed to dance out these wet, sunny vibes the song instills in the listener. “We made it the day I left actually,” Holmes adds. “I had to leave about half way through the shoot to get on the plane to come back to Oakland.” In a water-drenched, dreamlike narrative of death and love, somehow a spiritual cleansing is evoked all while Holmes’ percussion gets heavier, Su’s vocals more distant and distorted. Fittingly, the final shot affixes on Ah Mer Ah Su’s face, dissolving into an oversaturated kaleidoscope of colors reflected in the water.

Stay tuned for more updates on both projects, and enjoy Holmes’ recent Invisible Island cassette for Ratskin Records via Bandcamp.