Focused on building cinematic soundscapes, HOLT creates music which is ethereal, haunting and emotive. Her influences range from the evocative sounds of Bjork, Bat for Lashes and Enya, the beats and percussion of Massive Attack and Nils Frahm, to the minimalist style of Philip Glass and Max Richter.
We caught up with HOLT as she releases her anticipated new EP ‘Mirror Through You’ today!
Hey Holt, thank you for joining us today. Could you please tell any of our readers that haven’t heard about you yet what you’re all about?
Thanks very much for having me! What is HOLT all about…….well, my goal is to make music that is quite transportive; music which creates a dreamlike world full of dense soundscapes, lush instrumentals and ethereal vocals. I like to contrast that with a slight edge via minimal beats and rich synths to build in a slight underbelly. I mirror that with artwork and videos to create what (I hope!) is an immersive and sometimes otherworldly experience. Mirror Through You will be my 4th release.
Congrats on the release of your EP ‘Mirror Through You’. How are you feeling about this right now?
Thanks so much! I’m feeling really pretty chuffed about the new EP being out. It remains such a privilege to me that people want to hear the music I’ve made. It’s always quite an intense experience putting music out there, but this EP feels particularly special as it was written during lockdown just before I had my daughter – so it’s for her really. The songs span a real range of styles – from an electronic synth minimal banger (The Riverbed) to a capella choral piece (Lead to Gold) and they definitely don’t fit into a specific genre, but there is a real cohesion in mood, meaning and story – to me, it all hangs together really happily. I loved making this EP and it’s a joy for me to have it out there.
Could you talk to us about the process you have made as an artist to get to this point?
I’ve always been very certain about and comfortable with my direction as an artist – my style, my sounds, arrangement and instrumentation, what works and what doesn’t work. I don’t question it – it just is what it is – and that’s actually a pretty great feeling. So what I then focus on is creating a space for the ideas to flow – the space can be physical of course, but can also mean decluttering mentally to allow inspiration to hit. I’m very dedicated to what I do – I’m entirely self-taught from instruments to production and constantly want to learn and improve, listen to new music and sounds and open myself up to new ideas. To me, it’s important to stay sitting at the piano for the day, even if it feels like nothing is happening – it’s all chipping away behind the scenes and at some point, the ideas will reveal themselves.
We’re loving the artwork theme throughout the whole EP and single process. Could you please explain the meaning behind this?
The artwork was a real joy to make – so pleased you like it. I wanted to play with the idea of self-reflection and perception; to distort what we reveal or conceal to others (and ourselves). The title of the EP Mirror Through You is the first line of song The Riverbed – the artwork is a visual representation of that idea of introspection and reflection – chopping up an image and putting it back together again but in a disordered way. I also wanted the artwork to feel handmade and to move away from digital – so the images of me are actually cut up by hand and glued into place and then photographed. There was something very enjoyable about the tangibility of the process – makes you feel a bit more connected to it.
If you had to describe the EP in 2 words which, would you pick?
Was the process in creating ‘Mirror Through You’ different to the other music you have released?
Yes, very different. The writing was much more focussed because of lockdown and seemed to happen very quickly and naturally after the initial ‘argh we can’t go out’. I felt much more immersed in the overall story of the EP and could engage in it on perhaps a deeper level. I also didn’t get to spend any time in a studio with my producer and we worked remotely – I recorded everything in my little studio at home, sent it to him and then we got to work on the production side. Nothing can beat being in a studio bouncing ideas around, but actually the remote creative process was very lean and focussed and I loved what came out of it.
Has listening to any other artist throughout your youth inspired this record?
Absolutely, yes. My folks used to play a lot of great music when we were little kids and I can definitely see influences from artists like Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Siouxsie and the Banshees. A bit later but still very young I got really into Tori Amos, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno and I can feel their approaches and sounds have really shaped my writing and production. I still go back to those artists and hear new layers every time.
What can we expect to see from in the future from you?
Oh, just loads! Lots of writing, collaborations, and a new project which I’m keeping under wraps but its code name is ‘bangers’……
Thanks again for joining us today. Any last comments you would like to mention to fans?
Thanks for having me! And thanks for listening.