Let Me Be the Shadow of Your Dog
This album is like a chocolate cake. Heavy, dark, rich and possibly too sweet for it's own good: undertones from viola and double bass provide a landscape over which finger-picked guitar rambles and eddies. These are all secondary considerations, because Hollie's voice, when it breaks into the drifting feel of tracks like 'The Swallow' is clear, pure toned, powerful, and the major feature of this album. Her songwriting shows a remarkable depth of emotion and expressiveness for a 19 year old's debut and the sophomoric rack of lust, angst and betrayal is treated with punishingly frank introspection. Despite the subjectivity of the songs and the familiarity of the themes, there is a lyricism and a power of allusion that distinguishes them. Recommended to fans of Laura Marling or Damien Rice.