Exclusive: Holly Rees Bares All on Tender Acoustic Single "Stick Around"
Holly Rees is a poet. She’s a poet because she twists and turns her feelings into palpable pieces of art, these living, breathing moments preserved by her voice and her words. On her latest release, she does it again. Today, we are honored to exclusively premiere the English singer-songwriter’s new single, “Stick Around.”
We asked Holly to tell us a little about the track — you can hear her mention her “healing tunes” playlist, the stripped-back production of “Stick Around,” and the importance of being honest below.
“Stick Around,” much like Holly’s last track we reviewed, “Arms,” is a beautifully minimal ballad, barely-there in its quiet glory. Opening with a steady guitar rhythm, the song makes space quickly for Holly’s gentle vocals. There are no grandiose instrumental swells or howled hooks here, just a bittersweet arrangement moving forward like a slow burn, languishing in its own modesty. The closest we come to a climax, though, is when Holly strums a little faster and her voice gains a level of soulful desperation, but ultimately, the song remains at its acoustic minimum, twangy folk chords accompanying Holly’s wisp of a voice, breaking slightly — if you lean in and listen close enough — with an ache you can tell is courtesy of the dig she did into the depths of her soul to pull this heartbreaker out of her chest.
Because Holly is a wildly talented sadist, she follows “Stick Around” up with a live version of “Back Of My Hand,” another stripped-back stunner. Her vocals are at their best here, soft and steady with a hint of a lilt, wavering only at the most impassioned moments. The acoustic strums are thicker, reverberating with increased speed, but it’s as thoughtfully minimalist as much of Holly’s discography is. Alone, these songs will break your heart, but together, their bare-bones treatment is almost cruel, two profound acoustic ballads shared between souls.
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Featured photo of Holly Rees by Jay Dawson