With "Happy Hour", her ravishing new LP, Hollie Cook matures into the queen of modernday "lovers rock"... the lush girly harmony reggae style beloved in Britain since the 1970s. Evolution rings from the bittersweet opening title track; tender yet assertive, Hollie's voice caresses evocative lyrics through the arrangement's tumbling changes. Hollie dares to invite listeners into her true personality through these alluring songs, which she co-produced with her General Roots band members Ben Mckone and Luke Allwood, and executive producer Youth.
"Particularly with the songwriting, I was trying to really push myself and be open, to not be restricted in any way. I have always been a fan of theatrical pop music and wanted to experiment more with the song form." Indeed, the dizzying arrangement of "Gold Girl" shows Hollie as boldly orchestrated, cinematic. "Now I don't shy away from it when I want to be dramatic," she declares. Full of emotion, leaning into healing and understanding, Hollie's lyrics on Happy Hour speak directly to our pain and confusion and steer us towards resolution on tracks like "Moving On," "Unkind Love," and "Love in the Dark."
Touring as a teenager with punk legends The Slits encouraged the fierceness within her sweetness. Hollie's mentor was Ari Up, the band's lead singer and a lifelong friend of Cook's parents (Sex Pistols drummer Paul and her singer mother Jeni). "My father always said I would be a singer. But I discovered lovers rock on my own. I heard it on pirate radio and at friends', and I was bewildered, enchanted," she recalls.
"The Slits are the reason I have pursued this career. I was surrounded by powerful women at a young age, and when my time came, I was never fazed by male dominance. They were my wall of courage." From those feisty roots, Hollie has only grown. Her soulful directness on Happy Hour is relatable and authentic.