Monday 23 March 2020

Introducing: Holly Humberstone

This J.R.R Tolkien fan and 20-year-old singer songwriter from Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK seems to be poised to make a splash with her music that bridges the divide between pop and something a little more earthy and organic.

New artists are finding it harder and harder to break through, but if you are a betting person, you might be advised to have a little flutter on Holly Humberstone doing well. She certainly seems to be ticking all the right boxes. Last year her name cropped up on the bottom of the bill of a whole bunch of festivals including the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury, despite never having released a single. Then she kicked off 2020 by supporting Lewis Capaldi on some of his big European shows. Clearly this isn’t all just the luck of an indie bedroom artist, the big guns are out firing; in fact she’s working with management and label team Closer, who also work with George Ezra, James Bay and JC Stewart.

There’s a good reason why Holly is getting these breaks; she’s very good. At the end of January she released her debut song Deep End: “Throw me in the deep end, I’m ready now to swim,” she sings, outlining perhaps her readiness to now embrace the fickle world of the music industry, although the song is actually a hymn of support to one her sisters who was going through a difficult time.

Musically Deep End’s sound is calmly downbeat and autumnal, the minimalist production throwing focus on Holly’s touching vocal. Holly has been reported as being inspired by Phoebe Bridgers and Damien Rice and you can hear these influences subtly seeping through on this track,

Her second song however contrasts nicely with Deep End. There’s undeniably a big Lorde sway in both the production and songwriting (so much so you might find yourself checking if the name Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor is listed on the credits – she isn’t) but a good song is a good song whatever its reference points and Falling Asleep At The Wheel is undeniably that.

So that’s 2 out of 2 so far for Holly Humberstone. One to watch.

Holly Humberstone - Deep End

Holly Humbersone - Falling Asleep At The Wheel

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