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Stereo Six: HOLT Runs Down Some of Her All-Time Favourite Albums

Electronic artist HOLT joins us for a Stereo Six to discuss six of his favourite and most influential records and songs.




Exploding as a ‘storm’ of electronic pop, HOLT has really started to emerge since the calendar turned to 2024. The UK artist recently released her new single “The Storm,” the first and title track to her forthcoming new album. The song examines the burden of unwelcome feelings and thoughts that overwhelm you as the day begins. This creates a literal internal storm within you that results in chaos. As the chaos emerges and sets in, it becomes inescapable. The cloud is hanging over your head, and you can’t seem to shoo it away. “The Storm” is a nice showcase of who HOLT is an a songwriter and performer. The song is a nice morsel of dance-pop that’s more nuanced and unique than your typical dance club fare.

HOLT is a person who was always meant to be a musician. She received a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder on her seventh birthday. That was a defining moment for her, and her interest in music skyrocketed from there. She then moved to learning instruments and focused primarily on piano, flute, guitar, and violin. As a multi-instrumentalist, HOLT can do much of her own songwriting and recording. She has been notably influenced by artists like Björk, Bat for Lashes, Enya, Massive Attack, and Nils Frahm.

Influences are what we are focused on today as HOLT joins us for a Stereo Six feature. She takes us through six albums that significantly affected her as an artist.

1. PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000, Island Records)

PJ Harvey is an incredible songwriter and storyteller. This album is packed full of very beautiful songs and melodies, some very quietly beautiful (‘Beautiful Feeling’) and some very rallying (‘Big Exit’). Thom Yorke sings on a few of the tracks, notably ‘This Mess We’re In.’ The call and answer between him and PJ Harvey is inspired – their voices layer in a very seductive way.

“What I love about PJ Harvey is her powerful vocals, which can be vulnerable or brawny. It sometimes reminds me of Siouxsie Sioux.

“‘A Place Called Home’ is the standout for me, the power of the lyric, ‘One day there’ll be a place for us,’ and its delivery still gives me goosebumps. This is the song I first heard before going out immediately and buying the album. It was a soundtrack to quite a transitional time in my life, and I remember finding it really strengthening.”

2. Nils Frahm – All Melody (2018, Erased Tapes)

“I was already a Nils Frahm fan, but this exceptional album elevated him even further for me. It’s an album that needs to be listened to in full, in chronological order to experience the journey that Nils Frahm has created for his listeners. And what a journey! I love the sparse but foot-tapping instrumentation of ‘Sunson’ and ‘All Melody,’ the sheer beauty of ‘My Friend the Forest,’ and ‘Fundamental Values.’ He’s very very clever with the instruments he uses, all sorts of vintage keyboards, pianos, and synthesizers. It all works to create a very distinctive sound.

“I took my folks to see him at the Barbican in 2018 – they’d not heard of him before, but were utterly spellbound. As were the entire audience. It was so quiet, everyone was so totally immersed in the music and the experience. I’ve never been to a live music event like it before or since, and I think of it often. My folks have also become die-hard Nils fans.”

Artwork for the albums and songs HOLT lists in this Stereo Six

Artwork for the albums and songs HOLT lists in this Stereo Six

3. Paul Simon – Graceland (1986, Warner Bros. Records)

“Growing up, we had two cassette tapes in the car. Paul Simon’s Graceland was one of them. We knew the songs inside out and would demand for the tape to go on as soon as we were setting off on a journey. When I hear any of the songs now, I am transported back to my childhood, and that car. ‘I Know What I Know’ is my favourite on the album – the lyrical rhythm of the line, ‘Don’t I know you from the cinematographer’s party’ is genius.

“Later on, learning about the political context of the album’s creation and release, and the musical challenges he faced, made me admire Paul Simon even more.”

4. Pumarosa – “Priestess” (2017, Fiction Records)

“This track is such a vibe. It was actually on my Spotify discover playlist yonks ago. I had my earphones in on my way to the Tube, and I immediately stopped, wanting to find out everything about this track and this band. That opening one-note bass with the vocal coming in a few moments later, what an intro! It builds so beautifully with the guitar riff into a mad melting hotpot with a soaring saxophone thundering in mid way through.

“I adore the vocals of Isabel Munoz-Newsome and the ‘you dance’ lyric is a superb rallying call. Whenever I put this track on, I get asked what it is. Also, great video (which actually became a reference inspiration track for the ‘The Storm’ video).”

5. Bat For Lashes – “Daniel” (2009, Parlophone Records)

“‘Daniel’ felt like a brilliant departure for Bat for Lashes into a more electronic, 1980s-inspired sound. I loved her previous album (Fur and Gold), but ‘Daniel’ took her to a new, exciting direction for me. The rolling beat against the breathy, searching vocals and the texture of the bowed and plucked strings work so well. I’ve seen her perform this live and the crowd is so with her!”

6. Radiohead – The King of Limbs (2011, Self-Released)

“There are many great Radiohead albums, but this is my favourite. So many interesting sounds, mad loops, electronic, and organic textures. Mostly pretty unstructured tracks, but then you get a perfectly formed beauty like ‘Give Up The Ghost.’ Nigel Godrich (Radiohead’s producer) said in an interview the sessions created a mess that took him a year and a half to pull together. He sounds like an excellent (and funny) collaborator/producer!

“I’ve grown up with Radiohead; their albums soundtrack so many different phases of my life. I am stunned that they are still evolving, still making music that sounds so new, still the most magical performers. I’ve been lucky enough to see them live quite a few times Thom Yorke’s voice just gets better with each passing year. It’s as magical as that of Jeff Buckley I reckon.”

HOLT “The Storm” single artwork

HOLT “The Storm” single artwork

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