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Holly Humberstone
Holly Humberstone Dates
Sun 23 Jun 2024 - 17:00 BST
Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol, United Kingdom

Holly Humberstone Biography

Now I’m pulling out of your driveway/finally I’m living, not surviving,” Holly Humberstone’s rich voice cuts through horizon-breaking guitar lines, “...with the windows down I am reborn.” This title track is a glorious affirmation for the young artist and a reset, opening Paint My Bedroom Black – her pulsing debut album.

 

The record builds on the 23-year-old’s kinetic storytelling touch, which first came to light on 2020’s celebrated EP Falling Asleep At The Wheel and her second, 2021’s The Walls Are Way Too Thin. Now, Holly’s power for capturing and characterising our most tumultuous moments – as the bad friend trying to make good, a lost soul propelled through post breakup mania, the buzzkill, the one afraid of coming on too strong – is made more lucid. “Give me hell, ‘cause heaven knows I deserve it,” she sings on ‘Antichrist’, an exposing image of her last break-up, a heartbreak ballad set against propulsive pop: “Am I the Antichrist? How do I sleep at night?” It’s one half of a double lead single alongside the gentle, romantic ‘Room Service’: two starkly different tracks that act as a revolving door into visceral new worlds for the Lincolnshire-born musician.

Now I’m pulling out of your driveway/finally I’m living, not surviving,” Holly Humberstone’s rich voice cuts through horizon-breaking guitar lines, “...with the windows down I am reborn.” This title track is a glorious affirmation for the young artist and a reset, opening Paint My Bedroom Black – her pulsing debut album.

 

The record builds on the 23-year-old’s kinetic storytelling touch, which first came to light on 2020’s celebrated EP Falling Asleep At The Wheel and her second, 2021’s The Walls Are Way Too Thin. Now, Holly’s power for capturing and characterising our most tumultuous moments – as the bad friend trying to make good, a lost soul propelled through post breakup mania, the buzzkill, the one afraid of coming on too strong – is made more lucid. “Give me hell, ‘cause heaven knows I deserve it,” she sings on ‘Antichrist’, an exposing image of her last break-up, a heartbreak ballad set against propulsive pop: “Am I the Antichrist? How do I sleep at night?” It’s one half of a double lead single alongside the gentle, romantic ‘Room Service’: two starkly different tracks that act as a revolving door into visceral new worlds for the Lincolnshire-born musician.

Now I’m pulling out of your driveway/finally I’m living, not surviving,” Holly Humberstone’s rich voice cuts through horizon-breaking guitar lines, “...with the windows down I am reborn.” This title track is a glorious affirmation for the young artist and a reset, opening Paint My Bedroom Black – her pulsing debut album.

 

The record builds on the 23-year-old’s kinetic storytelling touch, which first came to light on 2020’s celebrated EP Falling Asleep At The Wheel and her second, 2021’s The Walls Are Way Too Thin. Now, Holly’s power for capturing and characterising our most tumultuous moments – as the bad friend trying to make good, a lost soul propelled through post breakup mania, the buzzkill, the one afraid of coming on too strong – is made more lucid. “Give me hell, ‘cause heaven knows I deserve it,” she sings on ‘Antichrist’, an exposing image of her last break-up, a heartbreak ballad set against propulsive pop: “Am I the Antichrist? How do I sleep at night?” It’s one half of a double lead single alongside the gentle, romantic ‘Room Service’: two starkly different tracks that act as a revolving door into visceral new worlds for the Lincolnshire-born musician.

In 13 tracks, Holly sketches fragmented love notes to faraway friends and her boyfriend. On ‘Lauren’, she distils the anxieties of thousands of unread texts and the guilt of missing friends’ life moments: “I put my fist through the wall, because I’ve been falling too short”. It’s pure and personal, cathartic and connective. ‘Kissing in Swimming Pools’ is aching, cinematic writing, set to Mazzy Star-esque soundscapes. Throughout, Holly’s offbeat humour remains: like a clip of her friend dryly invoking a classic Spongebob Squarepants meme to describe their tired mental state. ‘Cocoon’ is particularly poignant; at one stage, the album was going to named after the lyric 'I'm just going through something'. “It holds that diary entry level of vulnerability I feel I’ve only gone deeper with,” she explains.

 

Paint My Bedroom Black is a vital focal image. “It’s a way of finding clarity,” Holly says, “shutting out the world and ridding it of colour gave me a clear vision. Writing music helps me find my way out of the fuzziness in my head. I feel more cleansed.” Track titles like ‘SUPERBLOODMOON’ were lifted from collected thoughts in iPhone notes.

 

The last few years have been as lonely as they have been liberating. Sometimes writing sessions with other artists in the US didn’t quite work; yet Holly found songwriting solace in pockets of time in New York and LA. “I took ages to write it because I wanted to love them all,” she says. Longtime collaborator Rob Milton flew over and they hit up Ethan Gruska (producer for Phoebe Bridgers and Fiona Apple). From his small studio outside of LA, they experimented with pawn shop-bought instruments and synths, and wrote single ‘Into Your Room’ in one day. It captures Holly’s guilt from not being present in her new relationship, a track that about-turns from ballad to dappled dream pop, and reflects the album’s expansive sonic moments that sound like hurtling down a West Coast Highway: “You’re the centre of this universe/my sorry ass revolves around you”. Other tracks were formed in her more familiar Walthamstow studio.

In 13 tracks, Holly sketches fragmented love notes to faraway friends and her boyfriend. On ‘Lauren’, she distils the anxieties of thousands of unread texts and the guilt of missing friends’ life moments: “I put my fist through the wall, because I’ve been falling too short”. It’s pure and personal, cathartic and connective. ‘Kissing in Swimming Pools’ is aching, cinematic writing, set to Mazzy Star-esque soundscapes. Throughout, Holly’s offbeat humour remains: like a clip of her friend dryly invoking a classic Spongebob Squarepants meme to describe their tired mental state. ‘Cocoon’ is particularly poignant; at one stage, the album was going to named after the lyric 'I'm just going through something'. “It holds that diary entry level of vulnerability I feel I’ve only gone deeper with,” she explains.

 

Paint My Bedroom Black is a vital focal image. “It’s a way of finding clarity,” Holly says, “shutting out the world and ridding it of colour gave me a clear vision. Writing music helps me find my way out of the fuzziness in my head. I feel more cleansed.” Track titles like ‘SUPERBLOODMOON’ were lifted from collected thoughts in iPhone notes.

 

The last few years have been as lonely as they have been liberating. Sometimes writing sessions with other artists in the US didn’t quite work; yet Holly found songwriting solace in pockets of time in New York and LA. “I took ages to write it because I wanted to love them all,” she says. Longtime collaborator Rob Milton flew over and they hit up Ethan Gruska (producer for Phoebe Bridgers and Fiona Apple). From his small studio outside of LA, they experimented with pawn shop-bought instruments and synths, and wrote single ‘Into Your Room’ in one day. It captures Holly’s guilt from not being present in her new relationship, a track that about-turns from ballad to dappled dream pop, and reflects the album’s expansive sonic moments that sound like hurtling down a West Coast Highway: “You’re the centre of this universe/my sorry ass revolves around you”. Other tracks were formed in her more familiar Walthamstow studio.

“– and, I know I’ll finally get my own tattoo lyric from this album to show them.”

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