After stumbling across Greg Holden on YouTube a couple of years ago and since being an avid follower of his journey, both musically and geographically, the arrival of his first studio-produced album (released in May 2011) seemed reason enough to write a celebratory piece about his story and music.
Greg has led a somewhat nomadic existence, moving from his birthplace of Aberdeen, Scotland, to various cities in England throughout his childhood and teens and now further afield to New York, drawing on all these locations for lyrical inspiration and musical ideas.
Greg’s relatable lyrics, simple guitar riffs and occasional percussion and piano, can make the toughest of hearts melt. His songs are a platform to discuss heartache, chasing your dreams, confusion, love and music. For those who prefer to listen to the music, and not to analyse every single syllable that’s sung, the musical arrangements on his new album “I Don’t Believe You” will undoubtedly be second-to-none, rivalling some of his indie-folk competitors on the scene at the moment, such as Mumford & Sons and Frank Turner. The album, which was produced in America, was funded by over $30,000 kindly donated by Greg’s fans across the world after Greg, quite literally, sold the clothes off his back to fly to New York in 2009 and worked avidly to make a name for himself. He bombarded YouTube with his “Not My Living Room” series of carefully crafted songs and used other social networking sites to build a strong following. His persistence paid off and he was rewarded with the ultimate gift of a fan-funded album. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that so many people contributed to the creation of the album that makes it so special, or the fact that this young guy from the UK has put his heart and soul into pursuing his dream; whatever it is, the album (and Greg’s music in general) is the perfect companion, whether you’re heartbroken, happy, reflective, romantic, soppy or sad. If you’re not mad on lyrics, the music is a great accompaniment to a lazy Sunday afternoon, easy-listening whilst working or studying or a great distraction from the hustle and bustle of the commute to work.
One of Greg’s best songs, “Bar on A”, perfectly describes his travels and summarises his story, with eclectic and touching lyrics, a powerful chorus and great musicality throughout. This, aswell as citing Bob Dylan as one of his greatest inspirations, shows that Greg plays on simplicity and understated style with heart-warming lyrics, coupled with complementary acoustic guitar riffs (all written and performed by himself) and other instrumenal accompaniement.
Essentially, Greg is another gigging-musician with a guitar, trying desperately to break into the hardest industry on the planet, but his passion and determination have led him towards the path of success. Following a string of headline gigs and supporting tours across the UK, America and Europe, he plans to tour Europe this spring and will be in the UK, supporting Jay Nash, from the 21st to the 27th April.
The album, “I Don’t Believe You” is out in all major digital stores on May 31st 2011. [J]
Check Greg’s music, videos, tour info and album news out at: www.gregholdenonline.com