The week’s essential new releases SUNDAY TIMES
‘Exquisite’ THE GUARDIAN
‘A great singer whom I love very much…..a great, great album…..a great listen from start to finish’, JAMIE CULLUM on BBC RADIO 2, March 2015
‘I just love her talent‘, JANICE LONG, BBC Radio 2, February 2015
‘Another delightful batch of tunes’, MICK HOUGHTON, biographer of Sandy Denny UNCUT 8/10
REBECCA HOLLWEGCountry Girl (EMU)UNCUT 8/10 (March 2015)Songs for incurable romantics.Only Hollweg’s third album since 2001’s June Babiesannounced her as a talented songsmith, she combines old-schoolcraftsmanship with Joni Mitchell’s perspectiveson relationships and environment. Working with a core ofSouth London jazz musicians including husband/ producer/ session playerAndy Hamill, Country Girl delivers another delightful batch of tunes. The title track sets thetone, a jaunty, bass-driven, tongue-in-cheek look at city life, “Ruby” is sung to her daughterand would have fitted snugly on any Carpenters’ album. The arrangements skilfully blendmellow guitars, subtle strings, woodwinds and brass to keep Hollweg’s sentiments andhoneyed delivery the right side of mawkishness.MICK HOUGHTON
- Aled Jones July 2009
- Maverick magazine April 2009
- Janice Long show October 2008
- Uncut March 2008
- Netrhythms.co.uk March 2008
- Irish Evening Herald March 2008
- Rambles Magazine 29 May 2005
- Q Magazine April 2002
- Sunday Times January 6th 2002
- Get Rhythm Dec – Jan 2001/2
- Guardian Thursday August 24 2000
Youtube video links:
2001 JUNE BABIES POP VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRnWYQ_Tsm0
2008 ORANGE ROSES ALBUM LAUNCH, The Troubadour London http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZYg8nvdiy8
2011 ROCKUMENTALLY INTERVIEW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEEMN2YajTk
‘Absolutely stunning. I reckon that could be playlist’, Aled Jones
of Rebecca’s song ‘Orange Roses’ on BBC Radio 2, July 2009
Rebecca Hollweg, Orange Roses, Emu Records EMU 04
Meticulous craftsmanship and exquisite songs from this West Country songwriter
ORANGE ROSES is the second album by London-based singer/songwriter Rebecca Hollweg, following on from her 2001 debut album JUNE BABIES. No doubt this hiatus was due to raising a family with the arrival of young daughter
Ruby, now aged four who participates on this recording by singing into
the microphone on the hidden track – Sweet touch from mummy!
Rebecca’s music came to my attention when Country Radio starting
playing the single and title track. Then most recently she did a session
on Janice Long’s Radio 2 show. Encouraged by this I went to see Rebecca
play a superb set at the National Theatre Foyer and came home happy armed
with this CD! It’s a collection of 9 insightful and classy songs, which gel beautifully.
The album is produced by her husband, musician and bass player Andy Hamill
and features contributions from excellent session players, Mike Outram
(guitar), Phil Peskett (piano), Tom Gordon (drums) and also Julian Ferraretto
(violin, viola and string arrangements).
Singer-songwriter and artist Jeb Loy Nichols designed the CD cover.
Rebecca writes deceptively about the everyday things of life. The opener
Love Me Back is magical, rhythmical jazz-pop. With its gentle pace and
soft percussion it sets the tempo for a listening experience of mellow,
melodic songs with tinges of country, folk, jazz and pop. Orange Roses with the sensitive pleasant piano intro is heart tugging. This beautiful track is personally my contender for song of the year. It’s about wiping away the sadness and embracing new beginnings. “Sometimes it seems that it’s all endings / Strings of sad farewells and long goodbyes / But time has come to celebrate beginnings / Time to wipe the sadness from our eyes ” she sings on this polished performance. These Are My Tears with its smooth electric guitar is something you could imagine the late Karen Carpenter wrapping her voice around this near perfect pop song. Worse Things Happen is about a bad day in south London but could be applied anywhere! -It has sing-a-long quality with a delicious charm.
As a cinematic storyteller on Somerset she relates happy childhood memories
of growing up and moving forward but with a yearning to return to those
carefree days. Artistry is something that runs through her veins and both
her parents are painters. In fact Rebecca and Andy Hamill are depicted in a large mural that wraps around the brassiere, commissioned and painted by her father Alexander Hollweg at the new Charlotte Street Hotel in London.
The sweet and jazzy Mushroom Song is something this engaging singer wrote
at the tender age of 16 and with its simple piano and sparse arrangement;
it was indeed a goose-bump experience on a first listen. Rocked By Your
Love is both stylish and romantic, it offers a sensual vocal and features
extended interplay with a soft electric guitar and deep double bass. More poetic beauty is on display on the introspective Falling, which wrestles with issues of love believing that it will be like a raft upon the sea. A perfect late night listen.
Short on playing time yes, but highly listenable from beginning to end which has you reaching for the replay button for more chill-out joy. Music of the highest quality. – Andy Cole
On October 3rd 2008 Rebecca did a live session with her band for the Janice Long Show on BBC Radio 2, and on December 17th Janice included the song ‘Love me back’ in her pick of the sessions of 2008:
“And do you know what, it was so lovely to have Rebecca Hollweg on the show, and just a beautiful sound, great vibe – this is ‘Love me back'”, Janice Long BBC Radio 2.
Orange Roses (Emu Records). Magical, melodic jazz pop ****
It’s almost seven years since Hollweg’s debut album June Babies but this is certainly worth the wait. Likened to Joni Mitchell (very For the Roses at times) and Susanne Vega yet she’s more akin to an old school Brill Building songsmith. Carole King couldn’t have come up with a better pop song than “These Are My Tears“. If only the Carpenters were around to cover it – someone should.
Elsewhere her approach is leaner and jazzier, “Rocked By Your Love” has an arrangement that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Tim Buckley album although lyrically, she writes about simple, everyday things, albeit in a gently skewed manner. Delightful and kooky.
– Mick Houghton
‘Orange Roses’ is the second album by London-based singer/songwriter Rebecca Hollweg, following on her 2001 debut album ‘June Babies’. In view of the meticulous craftsmanship that’s clearly gone into this recording, the
seven-year gap is understandable. There’s not a word, a note, a sound, an inflection here that hasn’t been carefully thought out, and that’s the album’s weakness as well as its strength: a few rough edges mightn’t have gone amiss.
Hollweg is a superbly polished singer with a reedy voice that brings Joni Mitchell to mind, as does her songwriting. Like Mitchell, she likes to explore the border between folk and jazz, with a definite bias towards the latter. Indeed, closing track ‘Falling’ falls purely into the jazz category. A collaboration between Hollweg and American double bassist Harvie S, it’s already been covered by Carleen Anderson of the Brand New Heavies. Several more songs here will no doubt be snapped up by other singers — notably the heartstring-tugging title track, which could easily become a standard in its own right. – Sarah McQuaid
Otherworldly debut from West Country songwriter. ***
Styled on the sleeve in deliberately “kooky” fashion (red frilly blouse, ukulele) Hollweg grew up in a Somerset artists’ community where Joni Mitchell would have been de rigueur. But while these careful, jazzy songs have a smidgen of Mitchell’s Court And Spark album about them, she’s stylistically closer to long-time Tears for Fears and Cyndi Lauper collaborator Nicky Holland. A gifted tunesmith, happy to wrangle words into memorable phrases (“You cannot see these bruises/They are inside my head”), she released many of these songs on her earlier album The Demos. Here they’re smartened up and there are two new tracks: Weather Song, with its infectious chorus, and the beautiful, bouncing Warhol and Williams.
On record – The week’s essential new releases – Pop
Far removed from the mainstream, there labour a small army of musicians
who survive on a shoestring yet continue to turn up for the love of it – singers such as Rebecca Hollweg, whose debut has been a long time coming, and proves well worth the wait.
In likening her intimate musings on love, ambition and camaraderie to Joni Mitchell or Suzanne Vega, there is a danger that this leaves Hollweg herself out of the equation. Yet there is something of Mitchell in her soaring vocal lines and Vega in her confessional ones, though there are unexpected echoes, too, of Marianne Faithfull at her throatiest.
Standouts on an album abounding with upright bass, a string quartet and even a sousaphone, include the title track’s ode to friendship and late developers, the bare-bones upcloseness of Where Are You Going? and the wryly observational Is It Me You’re Looking For? You won’t see this advertised on television, but since when has that been a guarantee of quality?
– Dan Cairns
Get Rhythm Dec – Jan 2001/2
After support slots in the company of the likes of Roger McGuinn and Tom McRae the name Rebecca Hollweg will be known to some. However ‘June Babies’ provides ample evidence of a classy musician who, on the basis of this record, will reach a much wider audience in the coming months.
‘June Babies’ is an album of Hollweg originals sung with effortless ease by the lady in question and backed by a tight band. Andy Hamill (Nitin Sawhney, 4 Hero and Shea Seger) does a splendid production job and provides some eloquent bass in a unit which has no room for showboating solos; this is a band sound, plain and simple. The melodious Ms Hollweg delivers her polished, radio friendly songs with perfect diction and some real style. As reference points her music, on this evidence, is replete with Joni Mitchell and Ricky Lee Jones influences. Not a bad benchmark by any standards but she has a distinctive sound for all that. An unaffected “this is me” singing voice is quintessentially British and her relaxed approach is as easy on the ear (that does not mean bland) as it sounds in the delivery.
The Mitchell references are probably strongest in the conversational style of the vocals – ‘Sorry’, ‘Sleeping In’ and ‘Is It Me You’re Looking For?’ provide the proof – and the production on ‘Getting On’ is reminiscent of Jones’ work. In ‘Warhol and Williams’ Hollweg describes her childhood confusion in “mixing up Andys like Warhol and Williams” or is there a more sinister reading, we should be told!
Two lines in ‘Is It Me You’re Looking For’ offer a glimpse of her potential; “I’m not the one who’s lost/ It’s just you haven’t found me yet”. If the fickle gods of fate smile on Rebecca Hollweg you soon will!
– Nick Allan
A new generation of young women is bringing fresh life to folk music. Lucy O’Brien reports…Each new artist in the acoustic scene brings something
new to the mix…Rebecca Hollweg laces her low-key arrangements with exquisite vocals…