Slaves frontman Isaac Holman has reinvented himself as Baby Dave and shared his beautifully absurd debut single, ‘Too Shy For Tennis’.
If you expected to hear something angsty like Slaves, then you’ve come to the wrong place. ‘Too Shy For Tennis’ sees Holman swap shouting for sprechgesang as he deals with the woes of trying to restore his life and return to the world of dating after suffering a mental health breakdown.
“I was living with my parents after a serious mental health breakdown,” Holman bravely explains in a statement. “I was very unwell, I’d lost my mind and I was suicidal. Once I started feeling a bit better, I began to write. Sitting in my childhood bedroom, on my bed, these tunes started coming out of me. Then lockdown happened and amongst the madness the writing continued.
“I moved into a flat just down the road because we were all still worried about my mental state. I got a job as a gardener because I didn’t think I could do music again properly and I needed a bit of purpose. I was still writing though, I didn’t really know what for but it was just sorting my head out so I kept doing it. Then the project started coming together. I quit my job and decided to go for it.”
Holman went from headlining Alexandra Palace to mowing lawns in a blink of an eye and thought he’d never be able to create again. With Slaves, he is a brash, larger than life character who looks indestructible, but the reality couldn’t be more different.
Holman made the track in his flat in Tunbridge Wells before calling in a helping hand from Damon Albarn, who assisted with production, whose fingerprints can be felt all over ‘Too Shy For Tennis’.
The effort is a quintessential British track about monotonous life in a nameless suburban town and the anxieties that come with it. ‘Too Shy For Tennis’ possesses an off-beat kilter that is deliberately nauseating, yet, doesn’t stop the catchy track’s irresistible and relatable charm.