Hollie Smith: Long Player
By Shaun Chait
After the buzz created by her EP and her contributions to all manner of other projects (Don McGlashan, Fly My Pretties, Fat Freddys Drop...), Hollie Smith is now rightly playing in the big league. On this debut album she confidently strides up to the plate eyeing nothing but the fence. And with Smith playing the power hitter her team bats all the way down the order. The line up on this album includes some of the best vocal talent in Wellington (Lisa Tomlins, Rio Hemopo, Deva Mehal, P Digsss) and seriously well-credentialed players including Darren Mathiassen, Jeremy Toy and Crete Haami. New York labels were instantly excited and we should be too. Smith's take on blues, jazz and soul is refreshing, warming, suitably challenging and at times captivating. Her voice smoulders and resonates, as her backing vocalists (including the Mission Choir) fill up the canvas. I Will Do, So Long, Be Whole In Thee and Come For Me Here are the most intoxicating examples of the impassioned, uplifting and heartfelt emotions her songs embody. Recorded at Trident studios, mixed and mastered in LA by Dave Cooley, and co-produced and arranged by Hollie Smith with Jeremy Toy.