“Harry is a little boring, isn’t he?” Holly Humberstone said, commenting on famous JK Rowling protagonist.
While the British singer-songwriter’s connection to Zoom has at times been blurry, her frankness was sharper than ever in her interview with The Daily Californian – especially when she discussed her hot shots on “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings”, two of his favorite childhood literary series.
Humberstone doesn’t like Potter’s sense of superiority and instead feels closer to the Gryffindor lover Neville Longbottom: “He’s the underdog, but he’s really nice,” she said. “And he’s just a cute one.”
Humberstone – a Hufflepuff, naturally – always seems to be in favor of the underdog. (“I’m so sorry for that little guy,” she said of JRR Tolkien’s Smeagol.) His empathy is sweet, but never sugarcoated – it’s familiarly straightforward, and that same conversational honesty comes along. translated beautifully in his music. Her talents have been compared to those of Phoebe Bridgers and Lorde, and although her music bears similarities to punisher ‘s ghostly pensive and Melodramadisturbingly serious, Humberstone’s style is distinctly his own.
Released on November 12, his EP The walls are way too thin drifts like a melancholy and supernatural flow of consciousness. Humberstone’s gripping voice floats over chirping rhythms and solemn licks of piano and tender guitar; in the midst of overwhelming changes, it seeks peace and stability.
“Everything I knew to be home and familiar was changing at a rate that I just couldn’t cope with,” said Humberstone, who moved to London after deciding to pursue music full-time. “Getting into the studio and writing about it and working on it really, really helped make sense of it all.”
But before unraveling the emotions in the secure space of her studio, Humberstone first had to face what she was feeling. After moving to London, she found herself taking the train to visit friends and family on weekends. Late evenings ended on their own with hangover train rides, forcing Humberstone to wallow in the weight of his unfiltered thoughts. The lyrics and song titles involuntarily blossomed in his mind, the space behind his eyes was a lush garden of tangled emotions.
“I find I come up with some really good ideas when I have a hangover for whatever reason,” she said. “I would take little notes on my phone or make little voice memos. And then I would go into the studio when I got back to London, and we would write about it.
Some ideas that she eliminated, others that she made grow. One of them germinated in Matty Healy’s poignant “Please don’t go yet” collaboration, a difficult conversation breaking into painful echoes. Humberstone’s voice pierces lust, her lips close to the mic as she sings, “I know I’m only young, but I’m not a fool.”
The standout lyrics happen to be one of Humberstone’s favorites. “PE is not really knowing who I am and (being) dependent on other people and things for my own happiness and my own sanity, but I think that line slips away a bit.” , said the 21-year-old. declared.
Although Humberstone is fighting for control over The walls are way too thin, the cover of her EP contains a disturbing immobility: the singer is sitting in a confined space without sunlight, the amber fluorescence behind her. This contrasts with the stark close-up of her bare freckled face that graces the cover of her debut EP, but in both photographs Humberstone’s gaze is the same: solemn, contemplative, even haunting.
Often reflecting on what once was, Humberstone lets such moving melancholy flow into their songwriting. “Dirty knees and bees / Nowhere else would sting so sweet / I can’t believe we’re turning out the lights,” she cradles over the moving opening of her EP “Haunted House”.
The song serves as a poetic farewell to his now dilapidated childhood home, a spooky place – filled with old violins, sprouting mushrooms, meat hooks, cellar frogs – but nonetheless filled with love and creativity. She fondly remembered how music always played, and after she got home from school, she walked straight to the piano.
“I would never want to do my homework,” Humberstone explained. “I’ve always wanted to just play, sing, and write songs, and they were really really s— sure… There are a lot of old notebooks you can find here and there with really creaky lyrics on it. stuff that happens at elementary school. “
While Humberstone’s songwriting has improved exponentially since his elementary school years, his modesty has remained unchanged. It might be a Hufflepuff trend, but Humberstone is almost too erased for its own good. She described herself as a shy, “middle of the stack” college student who demos “really bad and rough” songs on GarageBand on her dad’s MacBook. She was “really lucky” when she uploaded her song to BBC Music Introducing and made her radio debut.
Yet Humberstone’s career hinges on more than luck. His discography may not be long yet, but it is full of electric thrill and overwhelming vulnerability. Humberstone writes to better understand his own feelings, but his art transcends personal boundaries, spiking with relativity.
It’s in the stars for Humberstone to weave universal themes, though it’s not immune to the occasional nervousness the night before a song is released. It can be nerve-racking to share such personal stories, and Humberstone is learning to embrace the magic that lies in the universality of his music.
“I was like ‘Oh my God, this is so personal. Everyone will know so much about me. But also, I think it’s pretty cool,” Humberstone shared. stimulating to share so much of myself with strangers… It’s really cool that we can connect through the experiences that we (all) have. “
Taila Lee is associate editor of arts and entertainment. Contact her at [email protected].