Posts Tagged ‘Holly Humberstone’

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Holly Humberstone was the musical guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden last night (February 25th) where she not only delivered a poignant performance of the title track from her debut EP, ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’, but also confirmed that she’s written a song with The 1975’s Matty Healy. Each week night, THE LATE LATE SHOW with JAMES CORDEN throws the ultimate late night after party with a mix of celebrity guests, edgy musical acts, games and sketches. Corden differentiates his show by offering viewers a peek behind-the-scenes into the green room, bringing all of his guests out at once and lending his musical and acting talents to various sketches. Additionally, bandleader Reggie Watts and the house band provide original, improvised music throughout the show. Since Corden took the reigns as host in March 2015,

“I still can’t quite believe it that I even got the chance to work with Matty, which is so cool,” she said, talking to Corden. “I think he’s got some crazy fans and they must have found the name of the song which is called ‘Please Don’t Leave Just Yet’ somewhere on the deep, dark web. It’s going to be a part of the next EP which should be coming out hopefully within the next few months.”

Watch her performance of ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’ 

Late Late Show music guest Holly Humberstone shares a special performance of her hit song

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Falling Asleep at the Wheel, the debut EP from English singer/songwriter Holly Humberstone, is only four months old, but the project’s soothing indie sounds are as welcome as ever in the tail end of the longest year in human history. The warm guitar tones on tracks like “Overkill” feel particularly appropriate for the winter ahead, helping us to find comfort in the solitude we may be facing during a first holiday season spent away from family.

It’s this track Humberstone’s favorite from the EP and her most personal track “Deep End” that she chose to play for us in her “Neighborhoods” session filmed outside her house in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Under quickly moving clouds, and on what looks like a chilly early-winter afternoon, the songwriter plays through both tracks on electric guitar. Make sure to say hi to her mom between songs.

Singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone performs two songs from her debut EP ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’ outside of her home in Grantham, UK.

Holly Humberstone - Falling Asleep At The Wheel

The British singer-songwriter’s lockdown-created debut EP “Falling Asleep at the Wheel” has marked her out for big things on both sides of the Atlantic. Everything about this year is different. So when Holly Humberstone made her recent US late night talk show bow with a set on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she leaned into that. Standing in for the studio glare of Los Angeles, witness the headlights of a creaking Range Rover on the farm back home. In place of a stage, find the car’s bonnet and the Lincolnshire countryside retreating into the night.

After tumbling from an opening slot on Lewis Capaldi’s European tour into COVID-19 lockdown, Holly Humberstone has spent recent months figuring out how to be creative under the current circumstances, playing online sessions (including an atmospheric offering for Guitar.com Live) and assembling music videos with her sister while gradually settling into the idea of writing new music. “It’s been so weird,” she says. “A lot of the creative stuff that I’ve been forced to get into during lockdown, I wouldn’t have been at all good at before, or even had the chance to do.

“At first I was really uninspired. I’m most prolific when I’m really busy, and seeing my friends, cramming my days full. It was really hard going from that to doing absolutely nothing, and finding it hard to write. I put quite a lot of pressure on myself as well. I felt like everyone was like, ‘There’s going to be so much creativity coming out of lockdown with all these creatives stuck inside…’ After I chilled out a bit, I had to see it as an opportunity.”

Humberstone released her debut EP “Falling Asleep at the Wheel” in August. It’s an artful collection of studied, serious indie-pop songs, fusing some luminescent melodies with searching lyrics that are hitting home with people in real time. She sees the title track – Maggie Rogers via bummer house keys and a War On Drugs lead break – as one of its anchors, having emerged at a time when she was tuning in to what sort of artist she’d like to be.

I wrote this song a while ago whilst still unsure of who I wanted to be and where I wanted to head musically. Writing this song was probably the first time I felt like I knew who I was within the music I was making. The track is about losing momentum and feeling like your emotions will slowly destroy the relationship you’re in and you altogether. I think the dark, wonky sonics define who I am musically, which is why Falling Asleep At The Wheel is such a milestone track for me, and has taught me so much about myself as a musician. We created the song at the house I grew up in, which is very old and falling apart, in the middle of the countryside. You can almost hear the weird sounds of the house within the track. It’s where I feel the most me and love that this is all coming from that one place.

“I remember writing the song and it being a real milestone for me,” she says. “I wrote the whole EP over the course of two years. It took me ages to figure out who I was within the music I was making, what I wanted to do with it, what kind of sound I wanted to make, what I wanted to say. It took loads of shit songs, loads of experimentation, before realising how I wanted to come across. Falling Asleep And The Wheel was a lightbulb moment.” Falling Asleep At The Wheel was largely crafted alongside Nottingham-based producer Rob Milton, and it’s an interesting blend of small town, late teen reality and widescreen could-be-massive songwriting. Humberstone is an open, insightful lyricist who prizes direct access, utilising her music as a communication tool even between the people closest to her.

“Deep End”, the EP’s striking opening song, was written for one of her sisters as Humberstone struggled to understand exactly how to help during a difficult time. “I’ll be your medicine if you let me, give you reason to get out of bed,” she sings over desolate guitars. “Sister, I’m trying to hold off the lightning and help you escape from your head.”

This song is quite a personal one. It came out pretty naturally, as one of my sisters was going through a difficult time and I was struggling to know how best to help. This song is my way of telling her that I’m always here. It feels like a lot of people are going through something similar or suffering themselves and don’t have an outlet to express it. It’s a difficult conversation but really important to let those around you know that you care for them and will always stand by them.

“I’ve been getting messages saying, ‘This is mine and my sister’s song’ or ‘I’ve felt the same way about my best friend’,” Humberstone says. “A lot of the stuff I write might connect with people because it’s universal. I’m never going to be the only one who’s feeling like that. We had a plan to release Falling Asleep at the Wheel first, but then I wrote Deep End. I think it’s the most vulnerable I am on the EP, that’s why it’s a good first track. I’m baring so much of my soul. When I wrote that song it needed to come out. I love that.”

This emotional honesty is a recurring theme on Falling Asleep at the Wheel as Humberstone interrogates anxiety, self-doubt, love and other big hits. She does so without so much as a lick of varnish, choosing instead to speak plainly wherever possible. “I really like songs that are conversational, and not trying to be poetic,” she says. “Like, ‘This is what I’m saying’ or ‘These are my unfiltered thoughts.’ I love listening to music that has personal detail in there, and rambling thoughts – people like Phoebe Bridgers or Damien Rice or Lorde.

“I feel like I know them personally from listening to their stuff. Also, a lot of the time I’m writing for myself. I’m just trying to get my words into a simpler format. I find conversations really hard to have, especially if they’re awkward ones about mental health or telling someone you like them or whatever. I think putting something into a song is easier for me to do and it’s genuinely a simpler format than having it all confusing up in my head. It helps me so much to work through my feelings. It helps me just as much as someone listening to it.”

The EP’s palette is a bracing, entirely trend-appropriate blend of traditional instrumentation and shimmering electronic textures. Humberstone manages to thrive in this arena, relying on sharp, unusual melodies and gutsy delivery to add blood and heart to a space that is rapidly filling up with identikit artists. Tracing things back to the start, she views her song writing approach as a sort of stylistic scrapbook, with multiple jumping off points. Unsurprisingly, emotion-first is a general rule.“ Sometimes it’s a guitar, sometimes it’s a piano,” she says. “I find if I’m writing on my own then I can usually just jot a load of stuff down and see what sounds nice. Some stuff stems from the title. I thought of Falling Asleep at the Wheel before I wrote the song. Sometimes when I’m co-writing with other people, it’s so important to have people in the room I can trust and who I can offload on first about how I’m feeling.

I wrote “Drop Dead” about a troubled & manipulative relationship that despite how bad it is, you can’t get out, because love can often be blinding. I think a lot of people have been through something where you’re with someone that was no good and for some reason all they have to do is look at you and you go straight back. I wanted the video concept to echo that feeling of something making you want to drop dead… when the rug is pulled from underneath you and you’re falling. I kept thinking about my failed driving tests and how awful they made me feel, so I decided to cover my dads car in learner plates and burn it down. My way of saying up yours to the driving tests !!

Some of the songs on the EP were written before the production [ideas], like Drop Dead and Deep End, but I also love going into a room with Rob and jamming, making something sound cool. That’s really inspiring as well. With Overkill l we were listening to loads of Fleetwood Mac and Haim, and it came from there. It’s different every time. I really love music that has that blend of real, natural instruments and cool, wonky electronic bits as well. Rob is so good at that, he’s got loads of vintage, weird, synthy, arpeggiated things. I love all those odd sounds.”

“Overkill” is probably one of my favourite songs. I was going through at a really happy time towards the end of last year. Before this, I’d never really been one for relationships, they just weren’t something I was looking for, but I’d recently started seeing someone and I was excited about it all for the first time. I realised I was falling for this guy and just wanted to know if he felt the same way about me, or if telling him how I felt was just going to freak him out and scare him away! I can be quite full on. I wanted Overkill to capture all the thrill and uncertainty and confusion and the many other emotions that come with falling for someone for the first time.

Milton also provided the guitar that Humberstone sees as vital to the EP’s overall sound. Accenting a handful of Fenders – Humberstone has been playing a Player Lead III and Mustang 90 of late – is an Airline Map baritone from Eastwood, modelled on a National Newport.

“I love an ambient, reverby electric guitar,” she says. “It just does something to me. I didn’t know the baritone existed before we wrote Deep End and now I’m obsessed with it. I play it all the time. I also play quite a lot of Fenders, but my first few guitars were Epiphone Les Pauls that my dad got second hand on eBay. They were great to learn on, but I dropped one on tour and snapped the neck in half. I’m scarred from that experience.” Having introduced her to Damien Rice’s O, Regina Spektor, Radiohead (be sure to look up her cover of Fake Plastic Tree) and Led Zeppelin, Humberstone’s folks are also behind the loops that have lit up her recent sessions.  “I’ve got a really over-enthusiastic dad who’s down for getting new equipment that I have no idea how to use,” she laughs. “I think he’d seen. 

“My parents are really supportive and I think he bought a beginner loop station, and I’d not really touched it. I still play solo, and when I went on the Lewis Capaldi tour at the beginning of this year I realised that if I’m going to be playing rooms that are a bit bigger I’m going to need something else to fill out my sound. I incorporated the loop pedal, but I still don’t really know how to use it. I’m so awful at the technical side of stuff. Honestly, anything could happen on stage. I hope for the best.”

As strategies go, hoping for the best isn’t exactly bulletproof. But you get the feeling that, even at this early stage in her career, Humberstone has enough talent and melodic  smarts on hand to make it work. “Writing Falling Asleep at the Wheel, I’ve made a little world for myself,” she says. “I understand who I want to be. It’s really fun to explore that world, push some boundaries, and I’ve really enjoyed writing on my own. I have a few songs for the second EP that are things I’ve worked on solo, which is really important to me. That’s how I started out. I’m waiting for one or two more songs, but I’m so excited.”

Holly Humberstone’sFalling Asleep at the Wheel” is out now.

Over the weekend, Holly Humberstone played songs from her ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’ EP for virtual guitar show Guitar.com Live.

The rising English artist strips down cuts from ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’ in her back garden. Standing in her back garden, Humberstone played solo guitar versions of ‘Overkill’, ‘Vanilla’ and ‘Deep End’ for an exclusive performance for Guitar.com Live on October 2nd.

There is plenty to be said for paying attention to the basics. Holly Humberstone’s music is somewhat generic in a very modern way: it’s essentially tasteful alt-pop underpinned by subtle electronics. But what sets it apart is the strength of her melodies and the cut glass nature of her voice. On her debut EP ‘Falling Asleep at the Wheel’ both were in plentiful supply and, having already supported Lewis Capaldi on tour, it’s reasonable to expect that her next moves will reach a lot more ears.

Before wrapping up with ‘Deep End’, Humberstone explained why the personal song was her favourite on the EP. “I wrote it about one of my sisters, who when I wrote it at the time was going through a really difficult patch with her mental health,” she said. “I personally find conversations really tricky to have, especially uncomfortable ones about mental health. I just wanted her to know I was there for her, even if I couldn’t fully understand. Putting it into a song was easier than having a conversation with her about it, and so I wrote ‘Deep End’ for that reason.”

Humberstone released ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’, her debut EP, in August. NME rated the “soul-baring and candid” release five stars, praising it as “a deeply affecting collection of songs that solely document Humberstone’s own personal fears and emotions, but the power and grace of her sentiments are sure to resonate universally”.

At 20 years old Holly Humberstone, has already come a very long way from her home in Grantham. From uploading music to BBC Introducing to performing at festivals and shows around the UK – she’s now caught the world’s attention with her authentic and heartfelt songs. Enjoy this performance which fuses the warmth of the acoustic music Holly grew up listening to with a darker, wonky electronic twist.

Rising UK-based singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone’s spellbinding debut EP is nothing short of pure perfection. “Falling Asleep At The Wheel” continues to prove the singers undeniable talent and skilful song writing abilities. At just 20 years old, Humberstone is carving her own path on her debut release.

Opening with her debut single Deep End, Humberstone opens up about her sisters challenges with depression and her undeniable commitment to being a supportive figure within her life. The honest and emotional track pairs warm guitar chords with a strikingly clear vocal performance. On the ethereal title track, Falling Asleep At The Wheel, navigates a one sided relationship. The song opens with upbeat piano chords before moving into haunting synth sounds over warped handclaps. Soul-baring and candid, ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel’ is a deeply affecting collection of songs that solely document Humberstone’s own personal fears and emotions, but the power and grace of her sentiments are sure to resonate universally.

I wrote this song a while ago whilst still unsure of who I wanted to be and where I wanted to head musically. Writing this song was probably the first time I felt like I knew who I was within the music I was making. The track is about losing momentum and feeling like your emotions will slowly destroy the relationship you’re in and you altogether. I think the dark, wonky sonics define who I am musically, which is why Falling Asleep At The Wheel is such a milestone track for me, and has taught me so much about myself as a musician. We created the song at the house I grew up in, which is very old and falling apart, in the middle of the countryside. You can almost hear the weird sounds of the house within the track. It’s where I feel the most me and love that this is all coming from that one place.

Falling Asleep At The Wheel is a brilliant debut release. Comparable to music from Lorde and Billie Eilish, Humberstone exhibits a maturity that many of her pop predecessors worked away at for years before achieving. The emotional clarity paired with exciting and stirring sentimental production leaves you wanting more, but the honest and conversational six tracks are more than enough for the moment. Each listen brings new emotions, discovering lyrics you may have missed that hit you directly. Humberstone has exhibited poise and grace on her debut EP, creating an intimate atmosphere to share her innermost thoughts.

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UK newcomer Holly Humberstone boasts the maturity of an artist much further down the line, career-wise. Her cache of singles walk the line between gritty indie singer-songwriter gems and alt-radio chart hits. In a relatively short span of time, Humberstone has established a signature vibe – call it gritty pop realness. Prior to hunkering down in her childhood home, an “old, run down” country house in Grantham, England, the 20-year-old ‘Lord of the Rings’ zealot was touring with Lewis Capaldi, gaining the experience of rocking venues like Wembley Arena. To pass the time in quarantine, Holly and her sister shot a DIY vid for her latest single, “Overkill.”

“Lockdown meant that we couldn’t shoot a professional video, so we had to improvise a little,” she says. No biggie – it came out great, as did our Vevo DSCVR at Home sessions with her. I wanted Overkill to capture all the thrill and uncertainty and confusion and the many other emotions that come with falling for someone for the first time. I’m very aware I can come across as quite full on and I think sometimes I can be overkill lol but that’s fine. It was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had writing such a truthful + personal song and I hope u can relate to the words somehow !! The video for Overkill on the other hand was a relly weird experience. My sister Eleri decided to put me through my paces during lockdown. We took an old VHS camera and a torch out at dusk into the forest near our home. She had me follow her through the trees and bushes, as I played along to Overkill. It was basically my version of a 5k run except I had no idea where I was going, it was pitch black and impossible to see anything and I was tripping over twigs n stuff the whole time hahaha. Anyway I really hope u love Overkill like I do

Check out “Overkill” and “Falling Asleep At The Wheel,” and jump on the Humberstone bandwagon while there’s still room.