HOLLIE HAINES – Letters To My Last Love (own label)

Letters To My Last LoveHollie Haines is a songwriter and singer from London who I’ve not come across before, so I had no idea what to expect from this first release although I assumed that with a title like Letters To My Last Love it wasn’t going to be an album of drinking songs.  There also isn’t a title track so what I found was a concept album, over seven songs, with a good story arc relating the breakup of a relationship and the establishment of a new one.  It follows the standard format of a change curve that anybody who has studied management theory would recognise.

Opening the album are three songs that very much represent the denial that comes with realising that things aren’t right.  ‘Except For You’ has the narrator in a relationship that appears to provide the only stability in her life and where everyone leaves her apart from the significant other but even here there’s a feeling something is going wrong.  This is the most downbeat song on the album, with an almost pleading sense of need to it.  The next track ‘Like I Used To’ is the end of the relationship when she finally realises she never knew the person at all and with ‘All You Did’ comes the  time to make a break and with it the recriminations.  It’s a song that’s both bitter and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Track 4, ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, is not a cover but a rather lovely song about finding yourself on your own and the fear that comes with it.  There’s also that siren voice saying that perhaps things weren’t so bad after all, and certainly no worse than they are now.

After that comes the acceptance and the start of moving on.  In ‘I Got Through, Babe’ there’s the realisation that the worse is over, she got through the pain and is making a new start, even to the extent of sending the ex’s things back.  Finally there’s a glimmer of hope and the tone of the music changes to a more upbeat tempo and stronger voice.  Things get ‘Better’ on track six lifts and the pace lifts even more, this is almost a pop number.  Now happier on her own she’s even able to wish the ex well, hoping he’s also happy and moving on.

Finally there’s a new love in ‘Mine’, which is a very beautiful ballad.  With possibly a triumph of hope over experience there’s somebody new and all that excitement of love which this time will be the one.

In this album Hollie has made a very good job of showcasing her talent and range, with all the tracks self-written.  She’s got a very good voice, clear and with power when needed, delicacy and a real ability to sing emotions.  Hollie describes herself as alt-folk which is a very popular genre.  Basically it means, as folk always has, story songs where the lyrics are the most important element but without restricting influences from other genres.  The backing also varies well across the tracks, starting with lots of bass strings before progressing into lighter tones. The whole thing sound tight and well produced.  I would say that to get the full benefit of the story this is an album that should be listened to in one sitting rather than dipping in and out.  It’s made the drive to and from work quite a pleasure over the last couple of days.

As a début album it’s one to be applauded and I can say we have another good female singer-songwriter who will hopefully make an impression on the live circuit.  There are already a few live dates for early 2019 up on the website, mostly around the South-East, and the album is certainly good enough to have encouraged me to buy a ticket for one of them.  The album was released on  23rd November and is available to buy on iTunes and Amazon as a download.  I can’t see how to get hold of the physical album, except possibly at a live show.

Tony Birch

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: https://www.holliehaines.com/

‘Like I Used To’ – live session:

Hollie Haines’ second album is out now

Hollie Haines

The journey started back in the spring when London based alt-folk musician Hollie Haines kick started an eight-month release campaign leading up to her new album Letters To My Last Love. April saw the release of the first track ‘Except For You’, a floaty love song with sparkling cello and delicate vocals.  Since then a new track has been released monthly, each representing a unique stage of healing after losing love and covering the emotions of loving, losing, hurting, missing, healing, letting go and loving again. We’re now on our final chapter with the latest single, ‘Mine’.

Hollie Haines is an alt-folk singer-songwriter based in London. She performs with powerful and honest lyrics, teamed with delicately crafted melodies. After spending three years in Leeds studying music, she moved to London to make her mark on the capital’s music scene.

After touring Europe and with another string of live shows on the way, Hollie brings music with authentic and honest lyrics which makes her instantly relatable and when performing live. Hollie pairs her deeply emotive lyrics with quips and anecdotes, about the people and stories that have inspired her music, to give a captivating performance.

This final track ‘Mine’ marks the final ‘Loving Again’ stage and will be released on the same day as the whole album. Haines said the inspiration for the final track came from watching a friend fall in love.

“I wanted to write about a love that was so real, that it gave a constant reminder than love can come back into your life, even when you think you’ve lost it for good. The friend that inspired this song is that reminder for me”

Haines has worked with number of musicians and producers on this album, one of which is award winning producer Lauren Deakin-Davies. Hollie says:

“Working with Lauren was amazing, it’s probably the best recording experience I’ve had. She perfectly translated everything I wanted into the music and she helped make ‘Mine’ absolutely perfect .

“Utterly irresistible” – Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: www.holliehaines.com

‘Mine’ – official video: