INTERVIEW: THE HOLLOWS
Updated: Jan 5
Brooklyn folk-rooted ensemble The Hollows have been releasing heartfelt and honest Americana for over a decade now, and we were curious to know how they have fared in the last year or so. They recently released their latest EP 'Lonesome Ghost' back in November and is a true reflection of the band's work so far, showcasing their undeniable talent and harmonies to last a lifetime.
'Duncan Bay' is simply brilliant, alongside a plethora of songs that embody the whole spirit of the band. Slow moving and vibrant acoustic songs that get straight to the point and don't mess you around. Having been on the road for a long time, they decided to just let the music speak through and write some songs without any real cadence and afterthought, and the result is spellbinding folk music. Here is what the group had to tell us about their year and more...
Hey The Hollows! How's 2021 been for you? ROB: In a word, roughsauce. ERIK: Dynamic, to say the least. ROB: But getting to release Lonesome Ghost was definitely a bright spot!
You've finished the year on a high with the release of your brilliant new EP, Lonesome Ghost. How has it been received? ERIK: Thank you— thus far we've had a lot of great feedback from fans old and new. ROB: Yeah, we’ve received wonderfully kind responses across the board. ERIK: People who have known us a long time have been very complimentary about the progress that we've made in our collaborative relationship with one another, and this record feels like we're as tightly knit as an ensemble as ever. ROB: From those who know our work already, the consensus is that Lonesome Ghost is our “most Hollows” record to date.
How was the writing and recording process? ROB: It varied a lot, depending on the song. Every Hollows tune has its own unique gestation period, not only for the principal songwriter, but for the group’s process of collaborating on the end result. But more so than on any previous Hollows record, these songs were all pretty “new” at the time of recording. ERIK: It was very intimate, and we took a lot of time workshopping these songs before looping in the rhythm section, so there is a lot of delicate craftsmanship that ended up materializing. DAVE: Right— we were just sort of casually bouncing new material around, even without any particular goal like a recording project in mind. We had recently come off 30 or 40 dates on the road after a big album cycle, so at the time it was more about taking a minute to breathe. As a result there’s a very comfortable and organic quality to this collection, I think. ERIK: As far as recording is concerned, working with James Frazee is always completely painless. We were only in the studio for a couple of days to knock these songs out, with some small overdubs later on here and there. ROB: James has a dynamite set of ears, not just in the studio, but also in pre-production. He’s very hands-on about song structure and makes brilliant suggestions that we’d likely never have imagined on our own. He’s also not precious about anything, which creates a nice open environment for creating.
'Duncan Bay' is a particular highlight, what is the meaning behind this one? DAN: Duncan Bay is an actual place at the top of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It's a place where the sandy Lake Huron shores are dotted with tall pine trees. My mother and father would take me there almost every day in the summer. It's always been magical and it always will be. The song is memory; a lullaby written for my parents. It's about childhood dreams that live on when you're an adult— and what I find so striking is the arrangement of the song and the role of everyone's parts. You can hear the water hitting the shore, the pines swaying, the sun setting, the reeds whispering, the bird song. It's all there. Duncan Bay in musical form.
You delve through the dark roots of Americana and country on this body of work, any particular influences as a group for your sound? ROB: Each member of The Hollows has their own set of influences that they bring to the table. ERIK: It's really the deep and quirky individual tastes we have that end up making their way into the work. What makes us strong as an ensemble is the fact that we all have different aesthetics and turn-ons musically, and that diversity ends up being celebrated when we get into a room together. We've always been interested in trying to find our own voice as a group, without worrying too much about following anyone else's particular blueprint for what sounds good.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
ERIK: Happy Holidays, wear a mask and stay safe!
Listen to Lonesome Ghost' in full here: