‘Hollow’ by Maria Kelly (Single)
Following the release of her superb EP, ‘The Things I Should’, the Irish alt-folkstress returns with an atmospheric new song
It starts with Kelly’s delicate voice, and then after a beat a reverb heavy, intricately picked guitar enters the song. As with The Things I Should, Kelly’s latest single is laden with atmosphere. A whisper track sits in the mix, joining another guitar track, and later on a string section.
It may come as a surprise that Hollow is the first song Kelly has arranged herself. As she comments: “I never had the confidence before, as I had convinced myself that I just wasn’t very good at arrangement. But after giving myself the chance, being patient and with the incredible strings and electric coming from Matt Harris [guitarist in Berlin-based post-rock four piece HAWK], I’m really proud of how this track turned out and I hope others like it as much as I do.”
The arrangement compliments the song perfectly. It conjures up images of sorrow and disappointment, and supports the lyrical theme of Hollow: the pain of never quite getting through to someone.
Following the release of Hollow, Kelly posted a video of herself, Ailbhe Reddy and LAOISE performing the song on a street; the atmosphere not coming from reverb laden guitars and whisper tracks, but passing traffic.
As beautiful as the arrangement and production of the official version of Hollow is, this ‘street’ version offers a rawness and fragility that is unique and would be an interesting direction for Kelly to explore in the future.
Verdict: Delicately haunting