Tag Archives: Abby Holden

Interview with Abby Holden

So I just posted my review of Abby’s latest album TIME ON MY WRIST, and I was lucky enough to chat to Abby about her new music and what she has been up to. It has been a while since we spoke, but as usual, it was a treat!

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JC: Congratulations on the new album, what helped inspire Time On My Wrist?

AH: Thank you! Usually I write from what I think another persons perspective is. This album, I wrote from my own. It was more challenging and more rewarding. The inspiration for it? Life. Good old crazy life.

JC: How does the new album compare to the previous releases?

AH: One thing I’ve noticed is that I come at songs from different angles. During the writing and recording processes – which can mean that they sound worlds apart. This happened a lot during the earlier recordings. I’m working on creating more flow with an album, and I’m getting closer with this current release.

JC: You seemed to go very quiet for a while, did this help with the album?

AH: it’s good to take a step back and look at things from the outside. Have a breather so to speak. It meant I had more energy returning to the studio and my passion for music is bigger than before.

JC: The variety in music genres is rather expansive in the album, did that come naturally or was that purposely done?

AH: Completely natural. I did scrap a few songs from the album as they did not fit well (that was me trying to improve the listening flow). The average album length still sits above 12 tracks – but then I noticed Bruno Mars’ latest offering is 9 tracks. So I beat him with 8.

JC: One song I would love to see on an album (and maybe a few other people) is ‘Ginger Pubes Are Amazing’. Would you ever look at officially releasing that as a song?

AH: Everyone says that! So I’m going to listen this time. I feel it would be a single release. Not sure how that gem would fit onto an album of ‘serious’ songs. You know what, I’m taking it back into the studio to polish it up. Apparently there is a national red head day. I could perform it there.

JC: I enjoy the music videos you made before, is there any songs on the new album you would like to record a video for?

AH: Thank you very much. Jukebox will be the first video from the album. Out very soon …..possibly in two days. Primrose Hill was the back drop for dragging a jukebox down the street. Every resident loves an early Saturday morning music video wake up call right? After that the next video with either be ‘Long way to go’ or ‘It’s you’.

JC: With the album now out, will you be doing any live shows in the near future?

AH: At the end of this week, I head to America for a few weeks. Will definitely be trying out the tracks live in New York. Here’s the thing….I need to learn them on the guitar or piano in a way that translates. Doable, but it’s the hardest part of performing an album solo. Maybe I’ll put a band together in New York! Joking. Kind of.

JC: You do perform some great covers of hit songs, is there a particular track you would love to incorporate into your live show?

AH: I love playing acoustic versions of hit songs. Yesterday I was talking with Jay Picasso – producer at Starcity Studios – about that very thing. We were discussing how covers of older songs sometimes take off, rather than covers of what’s on the charts. There is an old Kylie song that I want to do a cover of….fully produced…..studio style. I think it could work. It’s not one of her famous ones either – but I guarantee all Kylie fans will know of it.

JC: Have you already got plans for album five? And what would you like to do for the album?

AH: Yes I do – it’s more of an interlude album. Then album 6 will be from scratch again. The ‘interlude’ will be a dance album. Using a couple of pre released dance tracks, and remixing tracks from Time On My Wrist. I expect this to be ready by September 1st. An album to play while getting ready for a night out.

JC: Finally, if you could choose anyone to record a collaboration, who would you choose and why?

AH: Sara Bareilles. Her construction of a song is superb. Sara majored in communications at University – which possibly explains why her lyrics suck you into a track. But maybe it’s just raw word smith talent. Something that can’t be taught in the classroom. You can hear her talent with words and melody progress through the albums. Her wordplay with my weird take on the world will produce an awesome song. I must tell her that.

TIME ON MY WRIST is out now! Here is the music video for Abby Holden’s song ‘Jukebox’

And here is a photo taken by Hanlan of Abby from the video:

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Abby Holden – Time On My Wrist. ALBUM REVIEW

It was nearly 5 years ago when I first heard the fantastic Abby Holden, it’s fair to say I was hooked on her music within moments. The New Zealander is one of the few artists that can master both the stripped-back tunes and the club bangers in equal measure (plus her cover of Crowded House classic ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ is marvellous!). It was the remix of ‘Strange Affection’ which got my attention immediately and I still see this as a favourite of mine. I could talk about Abby’s past music for a long time, but I want to speak about her brand new album. TIME ON MY WRIST is the 4th album from Abby (I hope I got that right) and it again is filled with some incredibly varied tracks.

Opening with ‘Long Way To Go’, the first track is a mellow intro to the album. One thing I can say is that Abby can always surprise me, and that is no easy feat. After swaying side to side to this ballad, I then find myself suddenly in dance mode. The next song reminds me of Coldplay’s ‘True Love’, ‘It’s You’ is a slow build to upping the tempo for what is about to come. ‘Jukebox’ features some great lines being dropped by Abby Holden and we get some solid Hip-Hop/R&B vibes from here. The title track again evolves the sound and ‘Time On My Wrist’ feels like homage to the 90’s/00’s R&B acts while making its own mark as a catchy and addictive song.

Moving on to ‘Play’, the mood to dance is still there from an electronica style, and this only continues with ‘Over Turning’ which itself just provides yet another edge to this portfolio we are experiencing. ‘Run’ feels like a more serious track with a truly wonderful beat. I am sure many people will look to a deeper meaning to this tune, but the same can’t be said for ‘Say Ha Oop’ which is just a fun groovy cut that concludes this album. All I will say is that if Haim need a bit of help with some tunes, Abby has them covered. How can so much variety be in one album?

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This is a great album, but it is over incredibly fast. Eight songs are really not enough, but there is plenty more music from Abby Holden that you can get your teeth into. Need I say more? Treat yourself to this great piece of pop/electronica/dance/R&B and all the other genres that come to life.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

TIME ON MY WRIST is available now to buy on iTunes and listen on Spotify!

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Abby Holden – 3. Album review

New Zealand knows how to make their musicians. With a great selection of songs and some top beats, 3 will definitely be an album to add to your collection. Singer-songwriter Abby Holden has been teasing this album for some time, and the tracks I heard before the full release was indeed just the first cuts of a great project. Anyone who has heard either the FLIPSIDE or STRANGE AFFECTION albums will know Abby is able to create some fantastic tunes, whether they be of acoustic, dance, RnB and even some tunes that will make you laugh. We are starting with…well ‘Getting Started (Funkiipapa Remix)’ which is a great RnB/Dance track which gets your groove on for this album. ‘Lost’ is next, featuring some work with rapper Mally Malzz (London artist and producer). This may be the first time I have heard a vocal collaboration with Abby, it works with the beat that bounces throughout the track and is definitely worth your time. I am glad to report that ‘Click It On Mute’ is not a tribute to John Cage’s 4’33’’, but is instead a fun and upbeat tune that you will be clapping along to within seconds. After only three songs, I find myself unable to stop bobbing my head to this album.

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An instant club classic is formed in ‘Games’, the sound of 90’s dance is plastered all over this song and it benefits greatly from that. I can imagine dancefloors being filled to this one. A contribution from Picasso sees him share some vocal with Abby and keeps the flow running to the next track. ‘Let Them Go’ is the dance ballad of the album, Abby gets to really express her vocal qualities in this track. You will get captivated by that voice, but still be moving to the tune. ‘Melancholia (White Mix)’ comes in and it impresses in its short time. Then ‘Higher Ground’ is a great addition to the already bubbling LP. The vocal work is fantastic and continues the groove. You will probably dance till you drop with this album so far, and it’s not over yet.

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‘Pink Ghetto Blaster’ was one of the first cuts that I got to hear from the album, it was a strong tonal shift in the music I had previously heard from Abby Holden and a great evolution in the sound she looks to create. A full on dance experience with a rich and fresh sound is what you get here. We start to unwind now, an interlude comes with a nice acapella piece leading us to ‘Getting Started’ and yes we did hear this track earlier, but this is the fantastic original version which is done acoustically and portrays Abby at her most powerful and yet at her most vulnerable. Stripped from beats and produced sounds, Abby lets her soul shine through in this performance and the track is just beautiful.

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As mentioned, this is the third album from Abby Holden and you would be very hard pressed to find many similarities between the releases. They all remain unique and at the same time identify to Abby really well. 3 really makes itself stand out primarily as a dance release, but don’t believe that is all you will get in this album, Abby Holden is indeed a master of many music genres and that is proved within this set of ten tracks. You get acapella (which I think should be the basis for a future song), dance, pop, acoustic, RnB, Rap and so much more. How many musicians could pull all that off in one album? 3 is out now and I recommend it highly, then we can prepare for 4 and 5 and 6 and beyond!

Final rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

and try this one if you fancy a giggle…

Abby Holden head shot

Abby Holden – Pink Ghetto Blaster. Single Review.

New Zealand singer/songwriter is back with some new music for 2015. With the new album ‘3’ on the horizon, Abby Holden has released the first cut from the new collection. Pink Ghetto Blaster is a dance track, described as fun by Abby, it brings a feeling of 80’s funk and the more modern techno numbers blended together. The lyrics and style are rather different to what Abby Holden has produced before, but don’t let this deter you. This is still the woman who sung about Strange Affections and Ginger Pubes.

“Press Play On The Ghetto Blaster Close To My Heart” is an example of the lyrical turns that Abby Holden makes in this track. You will be clapping along, tapping your feet or maybe doing that dance when you shuffle along pointing your fingers in the air. The song is due for release on Sunday 5th April 2015. Stay tuned for more details, for now you can hear the song on www.theradioalternative.com and using the Tune In Radio app on your mobile devices. Hear it this Friday from 9pm UK time on the station.

Final Rating: 9/10

AMAZON LINK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pink-Ghetto-Blaster-Abby-Holden/dp/B00VJTCDVK/ref=sr_1_2?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1428188402&sr=1-2&keywords=abby+holden

iTunes LINK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pink-ghetto-blaster/id982021149?i=982021154

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

For now, listen to the brilliant Abby Holden in this video…