May 28, 2019
The Hollering Pines – Moments In Between
(Unusually with all the music around me then this band enjoys it’s second appearance on my site as a Record Of The Week).
The Hollering Pines rely on Marie Bradshaw’s song writing; it’s a fine gift. Possessing a sweet and mellifluous voice she delivers Americana Country made perfect when coupled to her sister’s voice (Kiki Jane Sieger) in memorable harmonies. Throughout the album the stories and lyrics have a reflective and perceptive woman’s touch. They seem personal and peppered variously with heartfelt regret, gratitude and occasional relief at escape.
“He Don’t Understand” kicks things off with a thundering bass line, said siren vocals and an atmospheric pedal steel adding a little darkness. Bradshaw has said about the song: “when love is completely one-sided, it’s usually an all-in, stand-by-your-man, sort of love song” (despite his indifference). The lyrics tell of hopeless devotion (and even seeking Divine intervention). “American Dream” is about the everyday routine of survival with its Amanda Anne Platt vibe of tune, vocal delivery and words: “I’m still looking for the bootstraps I’m supposed to use to pull myself up, And the bottom falls out every time I try to fill my cup, The doctor says I’m gonna drop if I don’t stop and take a break, But I just won’t go back, Cause I don’t have the money to pay, Anyway at this point running ragged is my natural state.” This rolling rhythm eventually allows Dylan Schorer to take this home with a brief solo.
“Somebody” is a reflective love song. A mesmerising melody with Bradshaw’s vocals soaring over a gentle backing. “She Don’t Want To Be Found” channels their inner Tom Petty with an arrangement incorporating some slapped snares that kicks this along. “Blow Away “dwells on insecurities and barely coping. Again we get harmonies this time over a marching drum sound. Greg Leisz’ pedal steel cascades in the background before electric guitar, with reverb, provides fills.
“Out Of Dodge”is pure Country with Bradshaw escaping a failed marriage and those wasted years. Somehow I think there’s less of her own life in the lyrics as the heroine steals cars and throws mobile phones into lakes.
Bradshaw has an accomplished set of musicians around her who burnish her exceptional compositions. An undoubted strength of the album are the crafted arrangements and production. However she has a real talent as a songwriter that lights this up. This is their third and strongest album and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves.