Artist Spotlight: Andrew Holmes
Some artists just have a way with words and after Andrew Holmes created a few songs with us, we knew he was special. With a style rooted in Folk and Americana, his songs reflect a mix of meaning and melancholy, crafted with keen observation, capturing moments worth remembering with lyrics you won’t forget. His melodies rise and fall to keep you on the edge of a feeling, always passionate and authentic. His crisp vocals and range are both warm and inviting, with a winsome vulnerability.
First off, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us a bit about yourself and how your music career got started.
Thanks for having me. I grew up in a very creative environment, and I have always had a passion for writing. As a younger man I wrote short stories and poetry, anything to articulate my ideas. Writing has always been a selfish and therapeutic endeavor for me. Like most things, the more I did it, the sharper my skills became and the more vitally important it became to me. My desire to find meaning in the mundane and express it through song became sacred ground to me. Soon, everything I looked at held the potential for meaning. It created a rather beautiful and understanding outlook inside of me, one that I cling to. I began touring and playing anywhere I could, and have been able to live as a traveling musician for over 6 years now. It’s been amazing.
How did your upbringing and environment influence your sound?
Like I said, I grew up in a very creative home. My father is an author, songwriter, illustrator, caricaturist, and for many years was the creator and voice for a puppet named “Gerbert.” Growing up watching my father create and support a family of five by doing what he loved to do, instilled in me a great confidence and desire for an artistic lifestyle. We travelled often in my upbringing for puppet shows and camps that my dad was emceeing for. On those long road trips my father would constantly listen to Singer-Songwriters from the 60s, & 70s. My music is heavily influenced by the lyrical genius of Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Bonnie Raitt, Leonard Cohen, and many more. Music back then held a certain sense of purpose that I feel has been discarded in the past decade or so.
I see you moved to Nashville for a short stint. What aspects of songwriting and the music industry did you learn in Nashville?
I did. Nashville was an amazing experience, there is so much talent there. My time in Nashville was spent getting plugged in with local writers and artists who shared my passion for depth in songwriting. I found that the more I exposed myself to new techniques and writing topics outside of my comfort zone, the better I became. Nashville radically reshaped my writing for the better, and got me connected with some amazing folks who hold music to the same high standards that I do. Nashville is my second home and I visit as often as possible.
How would you explain your music in three words?
“Lyrical, Folk, Americana”
What has been your favorite song you’ve ever written? Why?
All of my songs are deeply personal and have a special grip on me. However, one in particular has grown in meaning for me throughout many years. At the time that it came to me, I was in a dark and lonesome place in my life. I had just moved to Nashville alone, and was going through some rough personal changes that left me a broken person. I had struggled for many years with the existence of God, and felt particularly abandoned during this season. One stormy night on my colonial style porch in Nashville, Tennessee I sat and watched the rain lightly disappear into the pavement of my sidewalk. A primal hunger to write overcame me and ten minutes later, the song “England” was complete.
I have never felt such a spiritual connection to a song before or since, and I have written over 200 songs now. It felt as though God implanted the exact words, melody and concept into my being and restored my hope for life through lyrics passed down to me. The song is about the cyclical nature of life, and the constant process of Death and Rebirth that we experience within ourselves. All things in nature wither and are restored, & we are no different.
I have been listening to “Through The Hollows” quite a bit lately and you’ve given the listeners a bunch of different vibes throughout the project. From the subtleness of “Sailor’s Lament” to the punchy, rock vibe of “Boatman” — talk about this project and where your head was at when you were creating it.
The concept of the album represents the unique perspective that each Being has been gifted. The logo is a hand delicately holding a monocle, alluding to the idea that we are the beholders of our own perspectives. If you don’t like your outlook- you have the power to see things a different way. The songs on this record are ones that I have written over the course of five years. In some ways they are my journey to changing my own perspective, as I struggled through some of life’s most difficult questions.
“England” is one of my favorite songs on your album – it’s one that you can just vibe to and get lost inside of. What made you make it the single from “Through The Hollows?”
I’m glad to hear that it made an impact on you. “England” is very close to my heart. This song has been a beacon of hope for me throughout my life, so when I was given the opportunity to record the album it just felt right to send that particular song out first.
Who are your top 3 favorite musicians right now?
1. Jackson Browne- for his natural gift of perfectly articulating the pain and beauty of life in elegant lyricism.
2. Jason Isbell- for his lucid and raw emotion, in honest and character written songs.
3. Noah Gundersen- for his dark and passionate depth.
Anything else that you’d want to let the readers know?
I am absolutely honored to be a part of Songfinch. As cliche as it sounds, music really does connect us; for what is most personal is most universal. What an enormous blessing it is to be connected with others through the art of telling the very stories that make them who they are.