Friday, May 18, 2012

Holly McNarland 'Run Body Run'

The first time I saw Holly McNarland, I was sixteen years old and walking through the wood chips at the then cross Canada touring Edgefest. The year was 1998 and it was my first concert. It was hot and just trying to take in everything was almost impossible. I felt as though I was in another world. It would have been hard to soak up everything at any concert for me the first time but a festival of this talent level had me on sensory overload. I was there to see Econoline Crush, Foo Fighters and Green Day. I was there to see those bands that day at Sask Place but I became a fan of Bif Naked and Holly McNarland. I knew virtually nothing of Holly McNarland. So as I walk across the grass heard this powerful voice sing/yell “…but I f@#ked him anyway”. I looked at the stage and thought, “that didn’t come out of that artists mouth did it?” On that day when I stopped and listened I was blown away. Fourteen years later I am still blown away.

Holly seems less angry on each record however she still emotes and is still a hell of if not better songwriter. With her having a family now and growing as an artist her songwriting has got to be affected in one way or another. Her phrasing, lyrics and earnest are still in every song on her newest record ‘Run Body Run’. That will never change for her.

As I have grown over the years, so has Holly McNarland. Which really works; she’s where she should be. I think this keeps her from getting stale and keeps her relevant. On this record you have some pop songs and some folk songs but they are all HOLLY songs. The only one that reminds of someone else is ‘After I’m Gone’ which is reminiscent of the beautiful and talented Emmylou Harris. No one can say there is anything wrong with being on the same page as Emmylou. ‘Only Money’ is a sure hit single and the other tracks are perfect for a Holly McNarland record. My personal favorites are ‘Alone’s Just Fine’ and the song she wrote for her daughter, title track ‘Run Body Run’.

Holly McNarland is still a gem. At this stage in her career she could do coffee shops, festivals, and shows like Austin City Limits or anything else she desires. She does it not because she has to but because she wants to and that makes for a fantastic record. ‘Run Body Run’ leaves me with that same sincere captivating feeling that watching her live did all those years ago at Edgefest. I am already looking forward to the next record. This is how a classy independent artist does it. Take notes.


As far as I know there aren't any official videos yet. That being said I did run across a cool bootleg from a while back of a track that made the record.

Cheers Rockers!