If you like the music of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, or Billie Holiday, then you should check out England’s soon to be sensation Hollie Stephenson.
I just found out about Hollie through my subscription to Bowers & Wilkins’ “Society of Sound” monthly music service. Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) not only make some of the finest loudspeakers in the world (I’ve sold quite a few of them in my career) but they also know good music when they hear it. They are constantly introducing me to new artists not widely known in the U.S.
According to B&W’s site, a tweet to Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics) prompted him to check out a Youtube video of Hollie singing her song “Stone Tears“. That’s all it took. He immediately recognized her talent, and within a couple of months met with Hollie and her mom to discuss what steps she had to take to advance her music career.
After 3 years of writing additional songs, Dave finally invited Hollie out to his LA studio to record her first album.
After reading her Bio, I was excited to give her a listen. I waited patiently for her album to download in ALAC and then added the album to my I-Tunes library. I pressed play and immediately started tapping my feet to the catchy drum and horn intro to her first song “Pointless Rebellion”. When Hollie started to sing I was reminded of the movie “Jerry Maguire. You see “Pointless Rebellion” might be 4:38 long, but Hollie had me at her first words “See the way she plays with her hair“.
It’s amazing to me how an 18 year old girl can have such a sultry voice.
In addition to “Pointless Rebellion”, the standouts for me include the ballad “Old Friend”, the upbeat “Man of Few Words”, and the stripped down “Breathlessly”.
Let me know what you think.
Until next time Happy Listening.
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