Lots Holloway - Slow Down
by Srinandini Mukherjee
Like many of my other reviews, I’ll begin this one by admitting I had never heard of Lots Holloway, a young British artist with an indie-pop style before reviewing this 4-track EP, Stay A Little Longer. Unlike many of my other reviews, I’ll admit that I am glad to have discovered Holloway’s music now.
The EP starts off strong with Slow Down, a track which acutely captures the feeling of people rushing through their time in the world and missing out. Phrases like, “needlessly to speak I open up my mouth and watch the words fall out” and “ceaseless on your quest to conquer / there’s a danger days will pass you by” are memorable and easy to relate to in today’s world. Holloway, who takes charge of everything in her music, including writing the lyrics, playing the instruments, and creating harmonies with her own voice, compliments the lyrics with an upbeat melody, which goes from being relatively low-key to building up with drums and electronic sounds near the end, showing off her many talents. Memorably, Holloway also uses the sound of a clock ticking in the background at several points in the song, which emphasises its message.
Berry Bones, the second song of the EP, is comparatively a little more melodically monotonous, but is still impressive with regards to how different it is from Slow Down. It has an incredibly catchy bass riff throughout the song, and shows off Holloway’s vocal range with her high notes.
Love Me is beautifully bittersweet with the contrast between its upbeat tunes and lyrics about two people falling for someone despite knowing that the other is “not right” in some way, and eventually letting go of their defences and loving them regardless. The combination of the two factors somehow gives a painful situation a positive tone, and accurately depicts the triumph of emotions over logic: as stated by Holloway herself in an interview when describing this song, “human compulsions give in.”
Between You and Me is the most understated track in the EP, with just an acoustic guitar backing up Holloway’s vocals - but this is by no means a bad thing. The lack of instrumental backing truly shows off the emotion and power in Holloway’s voice, and emphasise the lyrics, which go from verging on light and romantic to emotional and sad. While the somewhat drastic change can be a bit jarring for listeners, the song undeniably reaches its most powerful point in the final 30 seconds, in which Holloway sings “And I can’t figure out why I’m ashamed”, repeatedly and passionately, keeping it ringing in your head even after the song ends.
For an EP with just four tracks, the amount of promise and versatility Holloway shows is incredible. She has all the makings of someone who, unlike some of the pop artists we see in the charts today, deserves to be in the spotlight for her talent. While her vocals and songwriting skills alone would be enough to capture the listener’s attention, what makes her even more unique is her being behind all the instrumentation and production of these tracks as well. I can’t wait to hear more from her - for me, this is quality pop music.