San Holo stays laser-focused on “One Thing,” his first single in a year.

It’s easy to get obsessed and fixate on our dreams and goals. This is especially true for artists and creatives, who incorporate every single minutiae of their lives into fodder for the art mill. Sometimes, it almost feels like you’re simply observing your own life. Sometimes, it feels as if you never stop moving, always lunging forward into the future to catch the dream.

This approach is counter-intuitive, however. The devil’s in the details, as the saying goes. Being engaged and present in the moment is the only way to truly let life move and move through you.



This is the contradiction explored on “One Thing,” his first single since last year’s rapturously-received “Light.” According to San Holo, “The song ‘One Thing’ is an exact translation of how I feel most of the time. When I’m supposed to stand still, I still feel like I’m running, chasing after something. Restlessly wandering around because I’m too focused on what is to come, instead of being content in the moment. It’s a reminder for me to enjoy the now, even though there’s so many goals I have set. It’s about the realisation I’m never really able to reach my goals because they’re always changing.

youtube "If you’re chasing your dreams, you’ll never stop chasing. This song is a reminder to take a step back and enjoy the moments from time to time, 'cause that’s all we really have.”

“One Thing,” will make you want to remain rooted in the present. You won’t want to check out and miss a single catchy keyboard hook or memorable sugary vocals. “One Thing” might be considered “digital dancehall glitch hop,” as Holo turns in a dancehall beat similar to the reggae mutations of recent Drake or Rihanna which is slathered with monstrous post-dubstep squalls and wobbles. Digital dancehall, on its own, can sound rather thin, at times, as the style favors a stripped-down minimalist songwriting approach. It’s a good look, but it can be a bit underwhelming at times. San Holo’s productions spice things up with the endorphin-rush of deep bass and thick synths. “One Thing,” corrects the over-the-top overindulgences of latter-day dubstep, in the process, using breakdowns tastefully, to add to the drama instead of just tweaking out all night long.

“One Thing” offers hope for the future of electronic music. It’s easier to stay present when you like what’s going on around you. We Are: The Guard definitely don’t want to miss a second of Han Solo’s meteoric ascent. 

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.