Sunday, 6 March 2016
New Music: Introducing - Holly Macve
Sometimes, because of the way the internet works, allowing us to just connect with people or places that share a commonality of thought or taste, certain new artists names appear regularly on my radar until it comes to a point where I think “OK, I need to check them out.”
Such is the way with Holly Macve, who was signed to Bella Union last year. The tipping point came last week when I noticed that this 20 year old from Yorkshire had been announced at the bottom of the bill of this year’s Latitude festival, having previously been announced for Great Escape, End of the Road and SXSW
As soon as you press play you’ll understand why Belle Union boss Simon Raymonde signed her after seeing her play in Brighton. “I had a tip-off to go to a basement bar where she was playing. In a room full of beery boys chatting across all the music beforehand, the minute Holly opened her mouth the room fell silent. Hers is a rare gift.”
You can listen (and watch) that gift below. Holly’s voice sounds as if it’s been dug up from the past, or if not the past certainly from across the Atlantic Ocean. It possesses a sad wavering country tone and an occasional hint of Laura Marling in its intonation. She sets it against a background of sparse simple acoustic plucks, and on her cover of Melanie Safka's tune of the journey of life, We Don't Know Where We're Going, confident piano keys. It all leaves space for reflection and thought, like the day after a lost weekend. The songs never sound as if they’re trying too hard – they don’t need to, they already know they’re great. They will probably have you in bits.
Holly Macve is one of my favourite discoveries of the year so far. I should have taken notice of the internet earlier.
Holly Macve - We Don't Know Where We're Going
Holly Macve - The Corner Of My Mind (Video)