EP Review: Holly Rees' 'Slow Down'

EP Review: Holly Rees' 'Slow Down'

After the release of her single ‘Magpie’ in June, Holly Rees is back with a delightfully Summer sounding EP entitled ‘Slow Down’.
Expectations for more melodic storytelling and upbeat sounds were expectedly high after the release of ‘Magpie’, and she hasn't disappointed.
And, with Holly embarking on her ‘Northern Tourthis month, here’s what you can look forward to seeing her perform this Summer 

The EP begins with ‘Magpie.’ The optimistic folk rhythm is met with Rees’ slightly raspy vocals and combine to create a desire and longing for home. The track, along with the rest of the EP is a great soundtrack for a Summer road trip, with the beautiful harmonies echoing “I just wanna go home” being something that definitely stands out. Rees does an excellent job at creating a feeling of nostalgia with this song. Her ability to create a visual image with her lyricism is second to none, however ‘Magpie’ ends a tad abruptly for me, considering how rhythmic it is throughout. 

The following track entitled ‘Arms’ is beautifully romantic. This track shows Holly’s Northern roots with the line “Trust me love” being a personal favourite of mine. The song, which sticks with the folk rhythms similar to ‘Magpie’, has more of a ballad tone to it, with Rees becoming more powerful towards the end of the song after the bridge. This is certainly a song that I could imagine audiences singing along to, ending with a soft fade before the juxtaposition of the next track, ‘Timid Heart.’ 

With a pre-ordering of the EP ‘Slow Down,’ you receive a copy of ‘Timid Heart’ instantly.
This track, is in some ways, opposite to the ones prior, with more of an edgy vibe intertwining with the acoustic guitar. It demonstrates more of a pop aspect to Holly’s range, with the chorus being repeated multiple times, but this catchy nature does not compromise the great storytelling established previously by ‘Magpie.’
Ultimately, this track is perhaps the most creative, particularly in regards to arrangement, with the overall sound seeming more layered than the others, a change from her other tracks which appear more raw. 

‘Impossible Rules’ brings the EP back to the romantic, acoustic feeling of ‘Arms’ while also being similar to ‘Magpie’ with its echoing harmonies, but this time with a much slower beat.
Although beautiful in its arrangement, ‘Impossible Rules’ is a bit too repetitive for me considering it is one of the longer tracks on the EP. Despite this, the content is still deeply relatable, with relationships as the core theme of the song, something which is clearly Rees’ strength in her writing. 

The EP closes with a track entitled ‘Missing Out’, a considerably perkier tune compared to its predecessor. The choppier, less extended use of the guitar is similar to ‘Timid Heart’, but the chorus on this song is arguably much softer and more acoustically inclined. This is a particular favourite of mine, as it combines all the best aspects from the previous tracks.
You can feel Rees’ confidence when she finishes the song with “Well babe I hope you know now, you're missing out” this completes the story of romance which is throughout the EP, ending on a powerful note. 

Holly Rees’ EP, ‘Slow Down’ is released on 11/08/18, be sure to check it out!  

Photography by Sarah Dunn

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