Pointless Rebellion (Single)
Membran/The Orchard (Sony)
Hollie Stephenson is a 17-year old singer-songwriter who has always had a passion for jazz, blues, and soul. After performing her first song ‘Stone Tears’ at Bar Vinyl in Camden, London aged 12 she caught the attention of Dave Stewart, one half of Eurythmics, and legendary, Grammy and BRITs award winning producer. After this she was invited to work with him in his studio in Los Angeles and with the help of some talented musicians they recorded her debut album.
Her new single ‘Pointless Rebellion’ opens with a reggae brass section which makes you think you’re on a beach in Jamaica (the second half of her album was recorded Port Antonio, Jamaica as well). The vocals remind a lot of people of the late Amy Winehouse due to the delivery and tone in her voice. However, when I hear Hollie’s material my music knowledge goes back to 2011 when Dionne Bromfield (the goddaughter of Amy Winehouse) released her song ‘Foolin’. They are both in their teens, both have been heavily influenced by Winehouse and they both have the genres of blues, soul and jazz at the forefront of their own material. I appreciate that every artist is inspired/influenced by other musicians but I just find the comparison quite interesting. Her voice is quite rich and she
Now I can hear the song being used in the BBC drama series Death in Paradise as the local police investigate an incident. The lyrics are incredibly dark as themes such as prostitution, large alcohol consumption, and the use illegal drugs. The line ‘the boys take advantage of the state she’s in’ isn’t family-friendly granted, but you could say the song is really an all-too true social commentary on living in metropolitan cities such as London all wrapped up in a Jamaican beat. Or maybe it is just a catchy song with hard-hitting lyrics. I couldn’t predict potential radio-airplay because of the song’s adult content but I do believe that it would do well on specialist stations as long as it met radio guidelines re the lyrics.
Although the song’s production and musicianship is first-class, ‘Pointless Rebellion’ doesn’t tell me what Hollie Stephenson feels, what her hopes are or what she stands for as an individual. Maybe I’m asking for too much from her first single and if I am I apologise. However, an artist’s first single is used to introduce them to the world and say ‘Here I am world. This is what I do. This is my music and I’m ready.’ I am looking forward to her album release in the autumn as I am curious to hear more of Hollie Stephenson’s material. She currently has a PledgeMusic campaign for the album where fans can pre-order Hollie’s debut album and gain access to exclusive updates, content and merchandise at www.pledgemusic.com/holliestephenson.
With all this said, she does have a bright future ahead of her especially with the support of Dave Stewart and the talented musicians behind her.
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