The Scotsman Sessions #153: Iklan featuring Law Holt

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on, with introductions from our critics. Here, Law Holt and Tim London of Edinburgh/Birmingham/London collective Iklan perform their new track The Level

While the workload of many musicians and artists went rapidly from feast to famine with the spring lockdown, Law Holt was plunged straight into the frontline. This classy, imperious vocalist, best known until now for her work with Young Fathers, is a full-time NHS nurse “like my mother and grandmother before me”, and has been working on a Covid-positive ward since March.

“I’ve lost patients and colleagues but I’ve also seen lots of people recover,” she says. “As difficult as it has been, I feel privileged to be of use and to have made my contribution during a time when lots of people feel like they are treading water.”

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Inevitably, music has continued to be a release for Holt, who has been recording at home between her shifts, “trying to transform my daily experiences into bass, drums and vocals.”

Iklan featuring Law HoltIklan featuring Law Holt
Iklan featuring Law Holt

Holt is a key component of IKLAN, a collective of musicians, artists and designers spread across Edinburgh, Birmingham and London, along with Jacqui and Pauline Cuff, who sing in Leith Congregational Choir, but were formerly known as Hippychick hitmakers Soho alongside producer Tim London (who is based in Birmingham).

He’s the one providing the spacey, bassy backing on the left-hand side of IKLAN’s split-screen version of The Level, which features on their newly released Album Number 1, while Holt sings from her living room in West London.

“It feels like one of the freshest tracks from an LP we’ve been fiddling with for four years,” she says. “The lyrics come closest to what I see out the window. Eerie, end-of-the-road vibes. Any sirens or car horns you hear can be attributed to Holland Road.”

Looking to the future, plans are advanced for the release of IKLAN’s Album Number 2. “It’s even better than the first,” promises Holt.

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