Holly Walker – Now That I Am Nothing (single) (self-released)
Every now and then you come across an artist and you immediately and instinctively “know” they’re destined for greatness. Holly Walker is one of those artists.
The London-born singer/songwriter is a classically trained pianist with an incredible voice and equally impressive songwriting technique.
Walker first came to our attention last year as the vocalist on Maribou State’s Tongue (read our review) from which we then learned she’d quickly become a much in demand guest vocalist collaborating with an largely diverse range of artists including Crystal Fighters, and indie-folk outfit To Kill A King.
Back in October, Holly unveiled a new track entitled Hurt Me (read our review) – sleek, sexy, mysterious, with an air of tension, the song effortlessly toed the line of trip-hop, electronica, and jazz while Walker’s vocals seamlessly straddled smooth-soul and folk-sweetness with jazz inflections.
While continuing to work on her debut album, writing and recording with various collaborators, (including, again, with Maribou State), Walker has just shared a new track, Now That I Am Nothing.
Immaculately produced by Ben Jackson of To Kill A King, with additional production and mixing from Maribou State, the new track, like Hurt Me before it, seamlessly incorporates Holly’s diverse musical palette but is also the most pop we’ve heard her so far.
During the opening seconds, Walker’s vocal exudes a similar ethereal grace to Florence Welch and is perfectly paired with the song’s atmospheric, electronica-based production. There are also some 80’s, R&B flavoured qualities, thanks largely to what sounds like a Yamaha DX7 piano.
What makes Now That I Am Nothing unique is the way that as a listener you can either listen to it casually, as a pop song, and allow the hooks to latch on (and that, they do), or alternatively, immerse yourself in the details.
The sophistication and complexity of the arrangement, melodies, and production – the latter, which tantilizes with ear candy throughout – is truly inspiring. For example, listen out for the almost barren second verse, the electronica drum sounds – fresh and from clichéd, – and, of course, the “bridge” whereby a jazz piano section emerges and leads to what one initially assumes is the end of the track, only to be lured back into the song’s dreamy soundscape.
Now That I Am Nothing is pop at its most interesting, and although complex, it’s all delivered in a way that’s easily digestible.
2014 is shaping up to be quiet the year for Ms. Walker. Recently included in The Evening Standard’s ‘Londoners To Watch in 2014’, she is also the subject of an editorial feature in Flaunt Magazine (US) due out next month. In addition, Walker also played her first live show supporting VV Brown late last year and is due to announce further live shows shortly (her band is, incidentally, made up of Jamie Woon’s band members). Hold on to your hats.
At this time of posting, there is no information regarding a release for Now That I Am Nothing.
Listen to Now That I Am Nothing below: