Holly Would released their new full-length album, If Word Got Out on Tuesday and we have the exclusive Track-By-Track form the band!. The album is a mix of pop melodies and danceable beats with dark guitar tones, scandalous themes, and hints of Hip Hop laced throughout. Check out what each song it about and pick up the record on iTunes!
Newport: If Word Got Out… is in many ways, a culmination of the past years of our lives. So, we felt it was only appropriate that “Newport” be the first song. This song took me over four years to write and has been my baby ever since I first played the first guitar licks and uttered the opening words. I was honestly afraid of it; and I think I still am, which is why I love it so much. I had started writing it when I moved away to college and for the first time I was on my own. It is a song about self-discovery and questioning everything that everyone including yourself thought you are/were. Also, the track, where the album title comes from, is a great precursor for the rest of the album, spelling out the honesty, controversy, energy, and emotion that is to come.
Ida: The album then immediately dives into the fun, funk-dance rock “Ida.” It was actually the first song finished for If Word Got Out… One of our personal favorites, it has all the elements that make a Holly Would… song: Groovy-booty shaking verses, big choruses, and an even bigger bridge. The song tells my story/view of Hurricane Ida, back in 2009. During the hurricane I was stranded with a girl I had just met; due to a lack of power, we didn’t have much to do, so she challenged me to write a song she could dance to. Over the next three days, I wrote “Ida” telling the story, and revealing the sarcastic and devious inner workings of my mind. Like other tracks from If Word Got Out…, “Ida” tells listeners exactly what they need to hear without destroying the fun of mystery and personal interpretation, leaving them to ask what really happened those three days during Hurricane Ida?
The Nature Boy: The Nature Boy” is a song that has a lot of aggression behind it. You can hear it in every aspect, from Cory’s pounding drums, to Kevin’s raging bass runs, and the just pissed off taunting lyrics. Without name dropping the song is directed at a certain local radio DJ, that we realized is, for lack of better words, full of shit. What we realized though, when telling friends and bands from other areas about this person, was that this person exists all over the place. The song is us speaking out against these people, who lie and exploit artists and their dreams and emotions just to promote their own name. With such a serious track though, we did decide to have some fun and got “Reverend Buster Cherry” (see if you can figure out who he is) to come preach a little on the track to add some relief but still help drive our point home.
Debauchery: A while back, Cory came to me and was like “Hey David check out this lick and lyric I wrote!” He showed me the first lick/line of the song and told me it was about a certain major event from my life, and told me to take it and finish it. At the time we were, especially Cory, were really itching to write a straight “kick you in the balls” kind of song, and that’s exactly what came out! Debauchery is in itself one of the major underlying themes of the album. This song really spells out what the word means to us, and embodies what I view as “Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Everything about this track is gritty, raw, and fun, just the way we like it! No doubt this song will be a live favorite for a long time coming.
xjulietx: Co-written by one of our best friends and mentors Michael Borak, “xjulietx” is a song about love, betrayal, and standing true to what you believe in. Like the origin story behind the song, as well as the story of Romeo and Juliet, there is this constant struggle between two forces in the song. Pretty melodies and bouncy reggae esque verses clash with heavy choruses and dark guitar riffs create a feel that lies somewhere between a dance and a battle. Ultimately, though the song shows there is something beautiful that lies in chaos and destruction, that you have to fight for what you love, and if you believe in something stand by it no matter what.
Parliament: Parliament” is the sister song to “xjulietx,” written in response to the events behind it. I actually wrote this song in one night, as it all just came out so naturally. I had a lot of emotions pent up inside me, and this song was me getting them all off my chest saying what I needed to say. It is also a big departure for us, because it is the first real ballad that we have made. I remember taking the song to the guys and playing through it as a band for the first time. We finished it and looked at each other and were all like “Aw damn it! This is actually pretty good…” We had never had any intentions of writing a slow song, but we are very happy with the way it came out, as it still rocks pretty hard.
Demons: Hip Hop has always been a big influence on us. We are avid hip hop listeners, and we try to incorporate as much of it as possible into what we do. Kevin and I actually spent six months of our lives DJing and running lights and sound for a hip hop club in Hampton, VA in order to raise money to fund If Word Got Out… So, when it came to the record we had it set in our minds that we had to have a song that incorporated and paid homage to that part of our roots. In writing “Demons,” I remember waking up after a long night where some stuff had gone down that I can honestly say I was not proud of. I went for a walk to clear my head and I asked myself, “Why are you always doing these stupid things?” The chorus came to me, and it was one of the most powerful revelations I had ever had. It said everything I wanted to say and more, so I figured well why not let someone else speak about the same thing. While recording we hooked up with two of New York’s illest upcoming rappers/lyricists, Big Bizz and Danny Frisch, who came in and laid down some of the toughest verses we’ve heard in a long time. It was great experience lacing not only rock ‘n’ roll with hip hop, but our “dirty south” flair with their New York style.
Señorita: The R&B infused “Señorita,” is a song that we were very careful when structuring out. Our goal was to make the song feel like a journey; to really captivate the listener and make you feel like you are right in the heat of the moment. In my opinion one of the most scandalous songs on the album, it tells a story about accepting the consequences for our actions and decisions. You can’t outrun or escape fate, but you can embrace it; and if you’re in it with someone, it’s always better to embrace it together.
Midget: “Midget” is one of the darkest songs on If Word Got Out… which ironically contrast the amount of fun we had making it. It started with me bringing the chorus to Kevin and saying that it needed a sweet bass line for the verses. We had this idea that we wanted the bridge to have a “circus” feel. When we told this to the producers, they looked at us like we were crazy and said, “What the fuck does a circus sound like!?” We pretty much pulled out every auxiliary percussion instrument we could find and stated just beating on things and throwing them around making a bunch of noise. Later we went back and added a bunch of creepy guitar feedback and such, and finally the producers were like “Ohhhhh now I see what you’re getting at!” The eeriness of the song works great for its subject of control and delusion.
Last Call: Having come up playing in various Jazz Bands (I played saxophone), “Last Call” came very fluidly for us. The Latin swing feel of the song always reminds us of a drunken man stumbling around with a bottle of Tequila. The song is about trying to escape reality and trying to lose yourself in various ways. Often it is easy to think that you’ve outrun everything, and found refuge in other faces, places, and things, but eventually “tomorrow” comes and you are right back where you were. We make mistakes, and it doesn’t matter what we “blame” them on, we have to deal with them.
Five Easy Steps To Breaking Hearts and Other Body Parts: This song actually almost did not make the record. Initially I had this vision in my mind and it sounded great, but when we were trying to put it together it just wasn’t happening. Literally on the drive to the studio in New York, we made a few adjustments to it, and suddenly it started sounding right. With the help of the producers, we started adding little bits here and there it just got better and better. It is actually now my favorite song on the record! It is a lot of fun and high energy, and is very honest. The simple single line chorus came from this time I heard a girl say to this guy, “Well you know we…” He quickly interrupted, “Wait ‘we?’ What’s this ‘we’ shit?” I thought it was a very interesting statement and spoke a lot about the way different people perceive and define different situations and relationships. Initially we were calling the song “We Shit” as in the guy’s quote. However, when we told the producers the name, without the story they read it as “We Shit” as in we shit together…. We quickly realized we had to change the name.
Delusions of Grandeur: Going into the record, we knew that “Delusions of Grandeur” had to be the final song on the record. It’s epic and powerful ending just wouldn’t feel right anywhere else, especially since this song had been in the making for so long as well. The song was very much a coming of age piece for me. It was about a time when I realized that sometimes no matter how much you want someone/something it might not always be the right time or place for it. At a certain point you have to sit back and ask yourself is this worth all the torment and pain you might be going through for it; sometimes, it is necessary to leave things be and move on. However, if it is real, then it will eventually work out. All that is meant to be will come in time.