Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Holly Lerski shares the story of a Sweet Decline

Gaining recognition in the late 1990s as part of the folk rock ensemble Angelou, this singer-songwriter from Norfolk has been likened to artists such as Jeff Buckley and Beth Orton. Her musical compositions have enjoyed exposure on the American television series “Close to Home” and within the independent movie “Fish Without a Bicycle.” Born Holly Elmhirst on November 13, 1969, Holly Lerski is an English vocalist and lyricist celebrated for her contributions to the band Angelou as well as her individual artistic pursuits.

In April of 2024, Holly unveiled her latest musical work titled Sweet Decline. The theme of the album is “getting over a broken heart,” making this a deeply personal album, touching on real feelings about how to make sense of what’d been happening in her life, ranging from despair and feeling adrift in the world, to being more positive and experiencing hope and renewal. As Holly says, “It’s a story of coming back to life after going through hell,” and she uses her soft and lilting voice to convey exactly what she’s trying to put across on an album of bittersweet stirrings about finding yourself.

The album tracklist is in line with the itinerary she followed upon landing in America. So she opens with ‘Chicago’ (not the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song), a song about leaving the UK behind. Noticing the vapour trails, she likens them in song to being heartstrings tying her to England. On ‘Home Is Your Shoulder,’ she sings “pull on these heartstrings, I’ll come running”.

The itinerary takes her to ‘Carmel’ on the west coast, south of Monterey, singing “.. I’m far from home but I’m not alone”. Big Sur was hugely inspirational, which produced ‘Nepenthe’ and the slow, emotional ‘Down At Deetjeri’s’ ..“no road I drove I didn’t think of you”. A trip through Sequoia National Park was the inspiration for the Joni Mitchell-inspired ‘Oh Cassy Run’ ..“Cassy being a dog .. and Tall Trees ..Tall trees stand forever, so will my love come back to me?” The music becomes more upbeat on Joshua Tree and adds a country feel with slide guitar and keys on ‘Sweet Decline,’ which she recorded in Nashville.

This is a delightfully fresh-sounding album about what it felt like to be on the path to self-renewal and self-rediscovery.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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Gaining recognition in the late 1990s as part of the folk rock ensemble Angelou, this singer-songwriter from Norfolk has been likened to artists such as Jeff Buckley and Beth Orton. Her musical compositions have enjoyed exposure on the American television series "Close to Home"...Holly Lerski shares the story of a Sweet Decline