It feels as though it hasn’t taken long for singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone to rise into the limelight. After hit singles The Walls Are Too Thin and Falling Asleep At The Wheel took over the internet, Holly’s music career has been on the up. Winning the BRIT rising star award in 2022, as well as being nominated for two Ivor Novello awards and BBC Sound of 2021, has led to her releasing her debut album Paint My Bedroom Black.
The title track begins with rhythm-centric guitars and groovy synth bass lines. Holly’s voice hangs off every stanza like honey as she sings of rebellion against the man in her life. Following song Into Your Room is the polar opposite lyrically, but continues the sonic themes of smooth rhythms and bass heavy synths. Cocoon brings up the tempo, and includes a satisfying pheromone-esc synth line that matches the vocal line. The lyrics talk of needing someone by you while going through a rough time, and they come off as playful and relatable. It’s a definite early highlight on the record, as is Kissing In Swimming Pools, which encapsulates young love perfectly within a well-mixed acoustic led ballad.
Superbloodmoon, featuring TikTok sensation d4vd, is an excellent collaboration that combines all the elements of each respective artist’s music whilst retaining the vibe of the album. Lauren is a drum-led tune that breezes past with an atmospheric groove, while Baby Blue takes inspiration from the likes of Imogen Heap and Bon Iver, containing little more than Holly’s voice manipulated with heavy vocoder. The final two tracks on the album, Girl and Room Service, show two sides to Holly’s music. The former is a synth loaded ballad, while the latter is an acoustic led folk-inspired tune that builds slowly into a satisfying conclusion of airy backing vocals.
Paint My Bedroom Black is the debut that fans of Holly’s work have been waiting for. Its blend of synths, grooves, and angsty lyricism make it the antithesis of modern grunge music, whilst maintaining a slightly more pop-centric approach. The album will undoubtedly also show non-Holly Humberstone fans that she has a lot to offer, now and with future releases.
Writer and Musician, Ryan Bulbeck has been published with a number of online publications, and has worked with a myriad of great artists, both as a performer, and as a producer. His most recent band The 295 are still active, playing shows around the UK.