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.
On “The Walls”, Holly said, “This album sits within a sense of place. As a songwriter, I can only speak of my own thoughts of home and belonging. I suppose this record is a wandering eye over the fleeting moments from the last few years, of when I felt at home, and when I didn’t. When I felt like the walls were tumbling, when they kept me safe, and when they became my prison. I learned the only way of breaking these patterns, was to let people step over the threshold.
Due to the intimacy of the songs, I wanted to preserve the organic nature of the words and the arrangements. The heart of every song was recorded live, from the front room of a farmhouse in Sevenoaks – everyone facing each other, hearing each other, and working together. The sounds you hear are preserved in the moment that they happened. Tentative and selective moments were never changed in post. The other-worldly elements, synths, sounds, etc, were still captured live. 3 to 4 of us, tinkering with analogue synths, percussion, voices, iPads, etc, while the songs played. Rowan’s sensitivity as an engineer and producer, preserved every magical moment in his safe hands, while every person in the band shines throughout, regardless of trying to make this happen during the times of Covid, nothing was missing.”