Hollis Feels Larger Than Life on the Cathartic “Let Me Not”

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Photo: Zac Poor

Perceptibly intelligent in every facet of her career, HOLLIS is the type of artist that easily enthralls fans but is difficult to surmise; she's a successful songwriter, composer, producer, and now video director. The talent threaded through this woman is both taunt and effortless, a reaction of driven energy one moment and a breath of easy poetics the next, both so beautifully delivered it leaves you flustered. Instead of dredging the thesaurus for superlatives, why not find out why this enviable rising artist decided to put her face forward as an artist, or as she described it her "reorientation of my why."

Long having had a successful songwriting career, Hollis admitted she understood the impracticability of artistry and partially shied away from it as she considers herself pragmatic, but the pandemic allowed her to be "born anew." Having always been collaborative in the past, she found a reprieve in exploring the shadows of her own persona, learning to transform her journaling into a cohesive artistic output. This catharsis, "living in the thing," owning the moment allowed her to "honor the messy emotions," which unburied her "artist self out of a shallow grave." 

"Let Me Not" then arrives as the result of this personal and artistic journey, as well as the second single from her upcoming album to be released next year, and is laden with lyrics and structure befitting a songwriter in her prime. Full of textures and wit, a youthful wonderstruck feeling emanating throughout, elongated by a quiet then loud tension that has all the hallmarks of great composition. Born of the only session she did in person, Hollis wanted it to capture the emotions of the time: "depleted, uncertain, wistfully remembering." "Let Me Not" plays out like a song that both soothes and saves, a cry for trying, and wondering if it's working.

Its visual complement, which Hollis wrote and directed, with the help of cinematographer Edward Tran, is an obvious homage to Seattle, the footprint of her early career but is also a cathartic nod to the creative process as well. The video is broken into scenes that belabor the mental output required to be Hollis: alone in a dark empty theatre, performative but full of doubt, stretched out alone in a park, contemplative silhouetted by the moon, breathing in inspiration and finally a chaotic, frantic outburst of live energy surrounded by her girlband compadres as they bring the work to life in a basement (also possibly a small soliloquy from an empty sink).

Everything brilliant and succinct about "Let Me Not" is a tribute to persistence, a guide to near perfection. Let me tell you, “Let Me Not" tries and succeeds, and we cannot wait for the album to find out how far that success may spread.  

Watch the "Let Me Not" video below:

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