Have you heard “Where’d You Go” by Fort Minor? If not, you can hear it at the band’s homepage like I did just now. Anyway, today’s artist, Holly Brook, is the female vocalist from that song. Her debut album Like Blood Like Honey is coming out June 6 in stores and May 23 in online stores such as iTunes.
She plays a gently saddening, piano-based style of pop-rock that is reminiscent of Jewel and Fiona Apple. Although she doesn’t have the unique voice of Jewel or the soulful charisma of Fiona Apple, her music does have a charmingly evocative simplicty to it. Holly Brook is a young, up-and-coming artist trying to make a name for herself in the music industry. Her music isn’t perfect, (in fact, there’s a pitch shift in the final choruses (chori?) of “What I Wouldn’t Give” that sounds sort of awkward and uneven) but overall her music is pleasant enough where such flaws can be forgiven. And she’s still developing her sound, so hopefully she will improve with subsequent releases and her style will evolve into something unique and enjoyable.
Even though I have hope for her future as an artist, there is one problem I have with Holly Brook, but it’s not necessarily with her as an artist but more a problem with how she is being marketed. Take for example this passage from the biography section of her website, “Think Fiona Apple if she underwent anger management, or an edgier, darker Sarah MacLachlan.” First of all, if Fiona Apple “underwent anger management” then her music wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as it currently is. Second of all, Holly Brook’s music isn’t exactly “edgy” and “dark.” It’s slightly melancholy by pop standards, but if you want an “edgier, darker Sarah MacLachlan” then you go to Tori Amos, Poe or PJ Harvey. I just wish music would be allowed to speak for itself without having to be attached to all sorts of buzzwords and having to making it appeal to all sorts of markets. Well, that’s my tiny little rant for the day.
Buy Like Blood Like Honey by Holly Brook
Holly Brook – What I Wouldn’t Give
If you want to get a higher dosage of Holly Brook, then check out her music video for “Curious.” There’s not much to it. It just shows her playing the piano and occasionally some other guy will come in with a cello. Although, watching that video made me realize some key imagery that I’ve seen used in other music videos. In one part of the “Curious” video, the camera focuses on Holly Brook’s bare feet for a bit then moves its way back up her body to her face. I think showing her bare feet is a subtle way of saying that she’s a free spirit of some sort, but also that she’s somewhat vulnerable. Basically, it’s implying that she’s free-thinking enough for mass consumption. I guess using subtle imagery like that is another way to make artists seem appealing on a somewhat subliminal level. But enough of my theoretical ramblings, here’s the video:
Here’s a few “exclusive” videos where Holly Brook talks about how she got into music. If you don’t feel like watching the videos, let me sum up what she says, “I play the guitar, the piano, and the dulcimer. I started playing music when I was six.” Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom. Oh yeah, and whenever I tried to play the Quicktime videos in Firefox, it would cause some error and my browser would stop responding. I’ll still provide the links if you want to try your luck.