Review – “Love Songs and Hatealongs” – Holly Clark

reviewed by Laura Stanley

So yeah, Valentine’s Day is The Worst. But what about the two or so days that follow? You’ve bought candy on sale and now you feel slightly sick from too much chocolate and conversation hearts – whose phrases like “call me” mock you. Your Instagram feed is full of love. It’s still February and it’s grey and slushy out.

That’s how I felt as I dived into Love Songs and Hatealongs, the debut EP From Calgary singer-songwriter Holly Clark. Clark softly plucks or smacks her electric guitar as she sings about falling in and out of love and hating the vulnerability of it all. Clark spits and sighs as she processes her feelings of love/hate in a way that makes me sympathize but I also get the strong feeling that she will be okay.

To open the EP, on the standout “Untitled,” Clark, in a husky whisper, exhales, “You’re too damn cute – I can’t stand it.” She’s falling in love (or lust). Later in the track, she sings, “You’ve got yourself convinced, you’re meant to die lonely.” But “die” sounds like “die-ha-ha-ha”. It’s not in a menacing way, but rather she’s just pointing out the absurdity of the notion. It’s a sweet track and a nice reminder that as easy as it is to get wrapped up in your own pity-party, sometimes it’s beneficial to lift your head and look around once and while – you may find someone who thinks you’re cute.

By the following track, “Medicine,” Clark is sick from too many feelings and is looking for an antidote: “May it cure, may it wash away all my thoughts.” It’s a muddy song and, fittingly, more downcast. To close her EP, “TTSWYGS” (Tongue Tied Say What You’ve Gotta Say), Clark reminds herself at every turn (or maybe this is directed at somebody else) to speak the truth, think before you act, and be a better person. Here is Clark at her loudest and most assertive.

Finish up the last of those cinnamon hearts and throw on Love Songs and Hatealongs.

Top Tracks: “Untitled”

Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)

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