Shares new single, “Eye Of The Storm”
Taken from Not The Girl due 14th May on Modern Sky
Livestream performance on release day
With her new album Not The Girl due for release 14th May, and having previously shared videos for the tracks ‘Be My Friend’ and ‘Daddy’s Gone’, now Holly Macve shares an evocative video for new single and album standout “Eye Of The Storm”.
Of the track Macve says: “’This was one of the first songs I wrote for this record, before the pandemic. It’s strange because the meaning of this song has evolved and become more relevant throughout this last troubled year. I was reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and there was a line about a tornado that I thought was beautiful and evocative. It was a moment of inspiration for me and the song was written within a few hours. I returned to it day later and wasn’t quite sure where it had come from, that’s one of the best feelings, as a writer. It’s a sort of comment on society and how we’re made to feel like nothing is ever enough, the grass is always greener… and then love prevails. It’s us against the world in the eye of the storm.”
Macve has also announced news of a special album release show. A virtual performance with Q&A on 14th May at 9pm GMT. Everyone who purchases the album will gain entry.
Holly Macve is destined to move you especially with the dramatic composition “Eye Of The Storm”. Focussing all that strength and power from Macve’s vocal harmonies flawlessly fill the bittersweet soundscape. Emotionally enthralling, the tone of this ensemble will leave its mark. Each track that Holly has shared from the forthcoming album showcases this dynamic turn within each release, covering such ground and infusing elements of various genres to create something distinctly their own, ultimately Holly has created meaningful orchestrations that capture this fearless attitude. Holly Macve has the ability to move you, hypnotic vocal harmonies keep you captivated. Holly delves through delicate passages and despite the warmth in the instrumentation, the vocals convey this intimacy to the arrangement. This is a gripping single.
“My vision was big,” says Brighton-based singer Macve of the road to her second album. “I knew I wanted to do something more expansive than my first record.” With reach, feeling, storytelling power and a stop-you-dead voice, Macve sizes up to that mission boldly on Not The Girl. Following on from the rootsy saloon-noir conviction of her 2017 debut, Golden Eagle, Holly sets out for deeper, often darker territory with a firm, unhurried sense of direction on her second record: on all fronts, it’s an album that looks its upscaled ambitions in the eye fearlessly.
For Macve, the combination of influences such as Nancy & Lee with time spent touring helped widen her horizons. “I wasn’t afraid of trying new things, and I wanted to explore sounds and develop my skills in production, composing and engineering. When I wrote the songs on Golden Eagle I had never toured, it was just me in my bedroom playing acoustic guitar. I then got the chance to tour the world with a band and sing with a symphony orchestra [with Mercury Rev in 2017]. My little world grew and I realised there was so much for me to learn about how I can use my skills as a singer and writer. I didn’t want to limit myself – I wanted to push my boundaries.”
At every turn, Macve’s powers of evocation are matched by the depth and strength in her voice. Witness the meeting of a plangent pedal-steel with her elastic vocal on the atmospheric “Be My Friend”, or the sultry verses and soaring chorus of “You Can Do Better”, which bring to mind a prairie-sized Mazzy Star. Guest guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones’ spacious contributions help enhance its sense of space. “Bill was an important part of the story of this record,” says Holly. “I love his playing – it helped create that kind of heavy, lazy, dreamy sound I’m such a fan of.”
Elsewhere, rich seams of contrast and counterpoint emerge. The Velvet Underground-ish “Sweet Marie” is epic drone-country, “Little, Lonely Heart” a symphonic waltz around the rootsy stuff of bad love, jealousy, and guilt. “Who Am I” merges a Phil Spector-ish wall of sound with a grunge-y melodic insouciance, while “Daddy’s Gone” finds Macve reflecting on the death of her father over Memphis soul-style backing, rendering complex emotions with controlled reserves of detail and drama before a roistering climax. “Lonely Road” closes the album on a note of becalmed resilience, its narrator looking “past the prison walls and into the garden”, ready to face whatever waits out there.
Other contributors included Fiona Brice (Placebo, John Grant), whose string arrangements helped Macve fulfil an ambition to blend ’70s Laurel Canyon sounds and the rougher edges of ’90s grunge with the melodic sweep of Scott Walker. Collin Dupuis (Lana del Rey, Angel Olsen) mixed the album in Nashville; CJ Hillman (Billy Bragg) plays pedal-steel, Emily Druce plays viola, and David Dyson/Phil Murphy play drums. The Arts Council helped with funding, and recording took place between Holly’s home studio, Retreat Studios in Ovingdean, Ryder-Jones’ YAWN studio in Liverpool, and Kore Studios in London.
2. Eye Of The Storm
3. Be My Friend
4. You Can Do Better
5. Daddy’s Gone
6. Little, Lonely Heart
7. Sweet Marie
8. Who Am I
9. Not The Girl
10. Behind The Flowers
11. Lonely Road