Holly Holden – Tropical Soul. E.P. REVIEW

Born in London and having a huge link to Cuban and Caribbean sounds, there is definitely a fusion of sounds and flavours to take in from this artist. I can’t name many artists who can seamlessly go between singing in English and then to a Spanish tongue, but Holly works it so well. Self-producing your own music is not easy, but Holly and her fantastic group make this sound like a great production.

The soul vibes begin from the opening track ‘El Impulso’, Holly immediately impresses with the blendless back and forth of the languages she works so well. The tune comes in with an easy beat and then the party comes to life. Then next on the list is ‘Run’ and immediately I love the soul/ska blend that comes. If the first track was a display of the European roots, this song is the tribute to the Caribbean vibes which Holly and her band have truly embraced over the years.

Listening to this E.P. makes me think I am taking a trip around the world and each song is a new destination. ‘Dead Coral’ was a dance number in which I feel the need to don my Cuban heels and hit the dancefloor. England has made a great name for itself with many great ska acts, and I would think maybe The Specials have been a big influence on the track ‘Mellow Drama’ (If I am wrong, I won’t be upset with being corrected, it is just my opinion and I mean it in a positive way). Hearing this song makes me wish that Holly Holden could maybe collaborate with miss Millie Manders for a track or two (please make it happen!).

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‘Benji Muji Mau’ is fun, energetic and continues this party that we have been enjoying for the last 15 minutes. Then the closing track ‘Born At The Right Time’ allows the release to come to a nice climax. Reflecting on this last song and the E.P. as a whole, there isn’t many acts who can make songs that sound both original and inspired. The blend of influences is surely the winning factor for Holly’s music and I hope she has her passport in hand to help create the next release! An inspired experience and one I had to hear twice in a row because it was a fine one for 2017!

The E.P. is due for release this spring.

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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