The human soul is in a constant state of challenge. It is barricaded, given faulty directions, led astray, abused, and, for the most part, blindly ignored. Much like our day to day lives, where we are oblivious of the machinations of existence, the soul is the fire of our being but one that we prefer quenched lest we set ourselves aflame with ambition. Too much ambition and we become overwhelmed, despaired.
None of this is a secret to Jolie Holland, an alert and poetically involved singer of the blues. With her unique voice, Holland engages us with her lyrical observations of the past, the future, and everything in between. Whether Jolie Holland writes of her own experiences or whether she is an astute and keen observer of humanity and its accompanying propensity to weakness and failure, she has the wandering masses pegged and evaluated in song, her songs.
With music that is part blues, part folk, part country, and all Americana, Holland has previously assembled four albums of songs that reach deep into our beings. With her beautifully nuanced vocal talent, one that is nearly impossible to replicate, she becomes a storyteller of our lives and its heartbreaks and disappointments. But there's joy in there as well. And promise too. We're not just bombarded with sad views of our humanity; we're given hope as well.
Holland was once a part of the folk music-rooted The Be Good Tanyas but found that her words and music translated best when she was in full control of her musical path. On June 28, she will release her latest album, Pint of Blood, a dynamic - and different - work that fuses the absolute rawness of rock, electrifying her words with a lightning strike of intent. There are her usual blues, folk, and country elements present but she has done something far more intense with this album. The work is blistering, raw, insightful, and brilliant. It easily surpasses anything that she has previously done. Pint of Blood is her fifth album but will be released as a set of tracks by Jolie Holland & The Grand Chandeliers on CD, LP, and DD.
When Tom Waits is one of your avid fans, you're doing something right.You can hear Pint of Blood in its entirety at Paste Magazine, compliments of Jolie Holland.