Meet the Grantham singer-songwriter embracing her dark side.
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Holly Humberstone’s latest single, the melancholic Falling Asleep At The Wheel, builds to a crescendo that never quite arrives. It’s a remarkably clever nuance, one that mirrors the track’s thematic battle between love and despondency. Much like the frustration depicted in her lyrics, the track ends abruptly leaving the listener to finish the puzzle. Forgoing the full-blown climax, the track instead expands with atmospheric horns (think Bon Iver in his grandiose moments) and a marriage of drums and piano that recall Scandinavian contemporary Sigrid at her most introspective.
“I think the dark, wonky sonics define who I am musically,” the Grantham-based vocalist says of her atypical style, going on to declare Falling Asleep At The Wheel “such a milestone track for me”, one that “has taught me so much about myself as a musician.” In streams, it has surpassed her breakthrough debut single Deep End – a song which presents her more traditional singer-songwriter stylings. That song, picked up by a multitude of tastemakers across the musical spectrum, has drawn comparison to the likes of stateside alternative-folk star Phoebe Bridgers. Together, the two singles see Humberstone flirt with experimentation – both playing with the structure of songwriting. Much like Falling Asleep At The Wheel, Deep End embraces the abrupt stop. Yet the songs’ emotions linger long after the final note.
With only two singles to her name, Holly has already joined the likes of British vocal powerhouse Lewis Capaldi on tour across Europe – including a performance at London’s SSE Arena Wembley on his recent headline run. Testament to her crossover appeal, she also counts pop megastar Niall Horan and Irish troubadour Damien Rice as fans. Yet she’s keen to retain the grounded intimacy that has defined her first two musical outings, working on her debut EP with producer Rob Milton (Easy Life) in her childhood home.
“Throw me in the deep end,” she sings at the end of her debut single, “I’m ready now to swim.” And superstardom is well within reach at the end of the pool.
More essential Holly Humberstone tracks
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