Holly Henderson’s highly anticipated second album, “The Walls” is out now. The album follows the release of last year’s acclaimed single “The Planes”, which Clash Magazine described thus: “bejewelled psych-pop with folk qualities, her work has a haunting after-effect that can’t be shrugged off.”
The long-awaited sophomore release from the UK alternative singer-songwriter brings a very different side to Holly’s musicality and depth. While her debut album, “Monday Green” featured Holly’s impressive rock guitar work and alternative pop anthem prowess, her new work shows a more introspective, and slightly more delicate side to her songcraft.
Latest single “Wendy” is a uniquely fresh, yet retro infused ballad, told from the story of a person leaving their dog “Wendy” at home and promising her that she hasn’t been abandoned. It begins with the familiar whimsy and folk sentiments of Holly’s arrangements, and her dreamy, ethereal storyteller vocals. But as the band creep in, and Wendy’s world grows darker and colder, the warmth of the band, as more drums, percussion, guitars, mandolins and harmonies sweep in to remind Wendy, and anyone else listening, that they are never alone.
Recorded in a farmhouse in the English countryside, “The Walls” brings Holly full circle from her previous Los Angeles recorded album. Finely crafted arrangements, sonic musings, and playful themes take us on a journey with Holly as she deconstructs her Brit Pop and classic influences and reassembles them into progressive-folk wonderment.
What inspired your passion in music?
I don’t remember not having a compulsion to make things, I was driven to music in particular because I was always very deeply effected by music, emotionally speaking. The escape, the nature of music, is fascinating. So being able to create that, find my own way of manoeuvring within a craft that has no boundaries, I think that’s what it boils down to.
Reflect back on your musical beginnings, who or what influenced your genre?
My genre constantly changes, I don’t sit still for long, in life in general. Which reflects my influences, I suppose. The only stipulation for me with the music I like, is that it needs to be music, that I like. So it really always was just about anything. I have a lot of memories of watching films like Harry Potter, or Beetlejuice, even Star Wars, and obsessively going back, listening over and over until I figured out how to play things on piano. But then I had the same with Bowie, or Iggy Pop. I think I’m more attracted to the process of music, and the feeling it gives you, rather than the genre.
If you could use any five words to describe your music what would they be and why?
This is very difficult… Probably – Detailed, feminine, dark, free, and imaginary.
Tell us about your second album “The Walls”, who would you say this album was written for?
I know it’s a bit of a cliche, as an artist. But the songs were a combination of fact and fiction, I tried to tie in my real experiences, with storytelling, to create what, at that time, verbalised what I thought a ‘sense of home’ meant. So, I wasn’t necessarily writing it for anyone specific. But I do hope that people questioning their sense of place, will find something in the album that brings comfort or peace.
What did your creative process look like?
It’s very lonely, haha! But in a good way. I’m not a tragic, suffering artist. I Iike to be comfortable when I write. It’s usually very spontaneous at first, if I’m humming something or noodling on the guitar. So if I get a spark of something, I’ll get my environment in order, everything tidy, quiet, candlelit, and then I carve out what I need to, for as long as I need to.
What message do you hope listeners takeaway from this album?
I think by the end of the album, I established that your sense of home comes from how comfortable you are in your own mind. Moving out of your parents, or to a different country, city, whatever, won’t fix that feeling of isolation or unwelcome. You need to come to terms with it internally. At least enough to learn how to be at peace, occasionally.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
I think by nature, we women are fantastically strong, beautiful and industrious. Whether it’s a woman like myself, trying to define their place in a crowded industry, or a Mum trying to create stability and happiness in her and her child’s life, it’s a hustle. The world isn’t ours for the taking without some serious work. I think it might be any woman that insists on living life her way, really.
Conect with Holly on Twitter @hollywoowooo
Listen to Holly’s Latest Single “Wendy” right here: