Label: Bella Union
Released: 14th May 2021
Hands up if you’re a sucker for music that rips your heart clean out of your chest, throws it to the ground and, without mercy, cha-chas all over it. Fans of said genre may already be familiar with the deep timbre of Brighton-based alt-country’s Holly Macve; new recruits are going to catch on quickly by way of cinematic new album ‘Not The Girl’.
Having taken ample time off between records to explore and re-arrange her sound, Holly’s second album is dressed in a multitude of textures ranging from yearning heaviness over moody, tear-stained moments to grunge-infused dreamscapes.
Deeper and darker than debut album ‘Golden Eagle’, ‘Not The Girl’ is laced, not only with a firm sense of direction, but a distinct air of intent: Holly Macve is reaching for higher ground. An ambition that is most notable on title-track ‘Not The Girl’ with its slow-moving dramaturgy, but it’s on murder ballad ‘Behind The Flowers’ that Holly shows the full extent of her songwriting prowess. Entirely fictional of course, the track tells the haunting story of a girl who kills her abusive father. Dark imagery gives life to even darker imagination (“the last word he said was the first time I felt free”) and creates a sense of morbid fascination –a definite must listen for true-crime lovers and amateur detectives.
An album that is as expansive as it is concise, ‘Not The Girl’ sees Holly Macve tighten her sonic influences. Making full use of her disarming vocals and intricate grasp on emotion, Holly has taken the often intimidating second album in her stride. Stepping out of the shadows of comfort and into the blazing limelight, ‘Not The Girl’ is the poetic sound of liberation.