Song: Hollan – I’ve Been Alone review

By Paddy Kinsella

The weight of communicating my emotional connection to the music of Anna Manotti AKA Hollan hangs heavy. It’s music that consumes me whole – forcing my fingers to withdraw from the keyboard as a lump, heavy as a stone, forms in my chest. On debut EP, Ready as The Day, the primary source of that hypnosis was Manotti’s painfully compassionate vocal, however, on I’ve Been Alone and recent single, Wild Man, that suspension of time has become even more acute – Manotti embellishing her vocal with wispy, celestial atmospheres.

From the off, I’ve Been Alone constricts like a snake coiling around its prey; the repetitive guitar line and vocal tying tight around your throat. Breathing becomes easy though when the chorus opens like a front door on a spring morning – the pulsing toms and now weightless guitars hitting like the scent of newly mown grass. Written from a sense of feeling like an outsider in her own generation, Hollan concludes each stanza with a ‘you know?’ It signals both Hollan’s desperation to find others who identify with her feelings, and her desire to open up a direct path of conversation with her listeners. Each time she poses the question, it’s like she’s extending her hand through the speakers and asking if you’d like to share in its warmth.

A trusty vessel of empathy, I’ve Been Alone is further proof that you can always rely on Hollan to get you home safe – no matter how high the waters rise.

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