Chris Holt brings star power and slaps to double album ‘Stargazer’

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Photo credit: Courtesy of Chris Holt

After a five-year hiatus, Chris Holt is returning to the Dallas music scene with his newest album “Stargazer,” and it absolutely kills.

Holt has been around the Dallas music scene for years. He has won Dallas Observer music awards for his work with Sorta, the Slack and Salim Nourallah. Holt even won Dallas Observer Musician of the Year as a solo artist.

After his last release received lukewarm reviews, Holt took a hiatus from music to focus on other creative pursuits. His memoir and screenplay didn’t make much of a splash, and he started working with State Fair Records, putting down some old tracks he had written.

This turned into the double album “Stargazer.” State Fair Records has been releasing singles off the album so that fans don’t get overwhelmed by abruptly dropping 22 tracks after five years of radio silence.

The album is a collection of tracks Holt wrote during his five-year hiatus from music as well as some tracks he wrote even further back and never produced. The wide span of time that the album covers means there is also a wide range of styles on the album.

But throughout that range there is a consistent theme of getting older and wiser throughout the album. There’s a lot of reflection in the lyrics about what you’ve done and where you’re going.

Twenty-two songs may sound like a lot, but Holt manages to make each track such a jam that you can’t help but want more. He ranges from heavy guitar riffs to an almost beachy vibe without losing any of his catchy rhythms.

His upbeat songs like “Face to Face” combine riffs and drumbeats perfect for studying, working out or even just driving with the windows down. It’s the music you want to bob your head along to. Even if you don’t realize it, you’ll find yourself nodding along to the beat.

Even his slower acoustic songs like “In Disguise” and “I’m Wasted” make you want to move. The ballad “I’m Wasted” features the legendary vocals of Don Henley, who met Holt after hiring him as a guitar instructor for Henley’s son in 2013. Henley invited Holt to tour with him as a backup vocalist and rhythm guitarist for most of 2015.

Holt has also mastered putting darker lyrics to an upbeat rhythm. “Our Situation” looks back on a destructive relationship both parties are trying to salvage. If you didn’t listen to the lyrics, you would have no idea. But it’s songs like this that make the double album and its writer so amazing.

The whole double album is available on iTunes, and Holt plans to release it as a vinyl in addition to the electronic and disc copy.

In between tour dates with Henley, Holt will be touring with his own band to promote “Stargazer” in 2016.

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