STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 177688-28838 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: Digital Only Album
Reviewed by Tim Holden
The Hollands! (yes the exclamation mark is part of the name) are not well-known in the UK but they have a loyal following in the USA, Australia and most of the rest of the world, for their mix of folk, Celtic and Americana wound together to form a beautiful backdrop for their storytelling. 'The Last Dance' is their fourth album and was recorded in the Blue Mountains in Australia in an off-grid solar powered studio and delivers an intimate collection of songs that highlight the intricate harmonies of mum Jana and daughter Graciana. Uptempo numbers like the opening "Long Love" and the title track are handled with aplomb showcasing the percussive talents of son Banjo and the Celtic-tinged guitar lines of dad Craig. They cover a lot of ground musically, from "Good Lord Bird" with its southern country boogie to a close harmony rendition of Sammy Horner's "The Blessing" - a far cry from the Electrics rocking version - to the closing "Luckie Birdie" based on a traditional lullaby of Michigan/Dutch heritage with a whistled solo. The soundscape is sparse throughout and not at all over produced, giving the music space to breathe and leaving plenty of room for the vocals and time for the stories they weave to be thought through and grow on the listener. Their faith permeates The Hollands!' work without ever being forced on the listener.
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