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Album/Single Reviews

Holloway Road – Roots (EP)



unspecified-6Following yet another successful weekend of performances at Country2Country, UK duo Holloway Road are set to release their second EP, titled ‘Roots’, on Monday 18th April. This project finds Robert and Jack delving into genres they’ve written and played so far in their careers, fusing everything together whilst still maintaining their familiar sound and style.

“It’s the most personal record we’ve made to date, but it’s still fun! We had some songs written, but then some (female related) things happened and we wrote new ones, which turned out to be even better material. Love can be a horrible thing but we’ve realised it helps make a kick-ass record! It doesn’t matter if we sell 5 or 5,000 copies – we’ll still be proud of it. We’ve made the record we wanted to make.”

The EP begins with their new single ‘Little Harder’ (video can be seen below), a quirky, up-beat country-pop tune that was a real stand-out in their C2C performances. The chorus is incredibly catchy, and good luck getting that banjo out of your head! Infectious to say the least.

‘All My Life’ continues the pop-orientated style with an anthemic “wooooaahhhh” at the forefront of the song. Rob and Jack seem to have the knack of creating these elements in their music that stick with you right from the first listen. It’s not necessarily country, even in the liberal times we live in, but nevertheless it’s another very listenable track that will no doubt become a fan favourite at their live shows, which is where this track truly belongs.

‘Good Thing Gone Bad’ is completely at the other end of the spectrum. This is actually the first slow track the duo have recorded, and it is something they should definitely experiment with a lot more in the future. As fun as the up-beat tracks are, it can become a little repetitive, so ‘Good Thing Gone Bad’ is a welcome addition to the EP. Lyrically, this is by far the most accomplished on the EP as it showcases a more mature, heart-felt writing style, and the simplicity of the instrumental backing allows their vocals to take the limelight. A personal favourite.

The title track ‘Roots’ is a return to the duo’s more familiar writing style and features a fiddle at the end of the chorus which is rather reminiscent of Zac Brown Band’s ‘Homegrown’ (not a bad thing!). This is a very radio-friendly track that will also provide a great opportunity for sing-alongs at their live shows. If you’ve heard ‘Hot In Here’ by Rascal Flatts, the hook is very similar. Another pleasant track.

‘Let Me Go’ concludes the EP, a real foot-tapper that again doesn’t stray too far from the Holloway Road path and will no doubt please fans. All in all, it’s a solid EP from Rob and Jack that will reach its full potential in front of an audience. A little more lyrical complexity wouldn’t go amiss, but you can’t fault their ability to write infectious, memorable tracks. It’s no surprise that they have become regulars at C2C and it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more of Holloway Road in the coming years.

Holloway Road have confirmed their appearances at a couple of songwriter’s nights in Kelvedon & Wolverhampton at the end of the month. These will be a chance to see Jack & Robert playing a stripped-back acoustic set, with songs from Roots and some new, as yet unreleased material. In their own words – “it’s another side to Holloway Road… we don’t just bro down!”

Kelvedon Institute, Essex – 24th April
Bantock House, Wolverhampton, West Midlands – 30th April

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