Hollow Hand “Your Own Adventure”

Curation Records, 2023

Gentle 60s and folk-inspired indie pop. Hold onto this one for the summer.

The title Max Kinghorn-Mills has given Hollow Hand’s 3rd album, ‘Your Own Adventure’, speaks to the DIY attitude of the recording. “About just doing everything yourself and not needing to rely on anyone. That’s the one thing I love about doing this: no one has any answers for you, you are your own boss and it’s your own adventure. It’s down to you.” The first “proper” song ‘Before Tomorrow’ blends a sparkly indie folk feel with a New Order style lead bass guitar. It sets a sixties tone to the album that is reinforced by the ‘Last Train to Clarksville’ riff of ‘One Last Summer’. The central part of the song goes drifts into an almost Grateful Dead solo section.

Kinghorn-Mills seems at time to be taking a trip though as many 60s styles as possible. The harmony with Holly Macve (?) on ‘I’m Going To Let You Break My Heart’ floats off on phased guitar and voices. With ‘Heaven Just Watched’ he adds a touch of 80s pop. The words to this song are intriguing. “There’s no need to compromise, yes everything’s just fine. And in the blaze, I set the fire, Christopher Wren ‘I will arise’. Heaven just watched. I am the man, I’m Spring-Heeled Jack, I made Turner paint the river black. Time and tide tarry for no man, in blood and on the dotted line.”

The lyrics for each song are mostly brief, and in some cases seem designed to serve the music as much as be a message in themselves. Following the Beatles-y ‘All My Love’, a hit of we were in 1965, is ‘Childhood Room’. A country flavoured reminiscence of revisiting the room he grew up in. “Crowded round a light in my childhood room, I’m just trying to get back to you”.

The back half of the album has a couple of songs that are maybe only there to fill the album out for the Spotify algorithm. ‘Baby You’re So Rock ‘n Roll’ sounds like one of Neil Hannon’s ELO pastiches, but that isn’t a criticism, of one the most atmospheric songs here. In fact quite a few of the songs later in the album, notably ‘Jealous King’ have the cinematic feel of Divine Comedy, although without the bombast that sometimes overtakes that band.

He says of the album “All the little parts of my imagination which had been activated in the past slowly came through… I’ve definitely let my guard down on this record and not been afraid of the path ahead.” This is very much Max Kinghorn-Mills’ own adventure, and if he has made a shift in his musical thinking to make the album then it’s a worthwhile risk to take as it is a thing of beauty.

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About Tim Martin 247 Articles
Sat in my shed listening to music, and writing about some of it. Occasionally allowed out to attend gigs.
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