With their collaborative EP Garden out out via Brooklyn-based label toucan sounds, Chicago artists Brandon Markell Holmes — seen on Grammy-nominated Gorillaz album Humanz — and Rogue Vogue (producer Jonathan Marks) return today with their new single, “Gimme Time.” Lush synth pads and ricocheting drum hits sit above a driving house groove, Holmes’ heartfelt vocals adding an emotional heft to the slowburning track. “Gimme Time is about coming to grips with your internal thoughts/identity and subconsciousness, while simultaneously being in love with someone who you haven’t been fully able to open up to because you’re still figuring so much out about yourself,” Brandon explains.
An intoxicating blend of house, Afro-pop, and R&B, the entire Garden EP is full of dance floor-ready cuts that also deal with the internal struggle of the human condition. Doubling as both a lyrically engaging, contemplative listen and a useful tool for any point during a night out, Garden gets deep in more ways than one. Following the singles, “I Am the Night” ups the energy by bringing a sinister edge to a song that follows the narrative of the serpent in the garden, seducing people into doing things they wouldn’t normally do through persuasion & deceit. “Someone Else” rounds out the EP’s original cuts, a song tackling self-forgiveness with stabs of saxophone layered on top of a beat that seamlessly blurs the line between Afro-pop and Chicago house.
Brandon Markell Holmes is a formally trained theatre actor, working within themes of social observation and the symbiotic relationship between art and history. He’s also a musician working his own art into history, having appeared on the Grammy-nominated Gorillaz album Humanz and the album from Joey Waronker’s(Atoms for Peace) JOMORO, Blue Marble Sky. His debut album, The Museum of R&B, re-released in 2020 by toucan sounds, fully displays the depth of Holmes’ artistic message. Complete with visuals and live performance, the album was originally performed as an immersive experience at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. In Brandon’s words, “My prayer is to always create, speak and express with an authentic understanding of what I’m saying and why I’m saying it.”
Rogue Vogue was born shortly after Jonathan’s move to Chicago, where he quickly amassed an arsenal of analog synths and drum machines while also frequenting the city’s infamous underground dance-music nights at Smart Bar and the Boom Boom Room. With inspiration and production savvy at hand, his sultry and sophisticated sound was created, gracing stages in Europe and across the United States and recordings for an array of labels, including Deep & Disco, The House of Disco, and French Express.
Photo Courtesy: Patrick Luhrs