Words by Jesse Serwer
Some music just suits certain seasons. You know, reggae in the summer, parang at Christmastime… that whole thing. London singer Hollie Cook‘s brand of modern lovers rock fits autumn like the gloves those of us in cooler climates inevitably must dig out from the closet as the fall progresses towards winter. Not only does Hollie specialize in warming, romantic overtures perfectly suited to cuffing season, but there’s a bit of seasonally-appropriate spookiness about her, too — or at least the retro-tropical artwork that represents her on album and single releases.
For her latest project, Vessel of Love, due out January 26th, Hollie has once again sought the services of Robin Eisenberg, the cartoonist behind her previous two album covers, 2011’s self-titled LP and 2014’s Twice. But much else has changed in Hollie’s world: After two albums and many more years working with London’s Mr. Bongo label, she’s crossed the Atlantic to work with Merge Records, the North Carolina-based home of bands like the Arcade Fire and Spoon. Prince Fatty, the sonic mastermind behind those albums is also out of the picture. Vessel of Love‘s producer is Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, known for his work with U2, Guns N’ Roses, Paul McCartney and The Verve, and as an original member of early punk band Killing Joke. (Hollie’s parents, drummer Paul and Jeni Cook, were punk pioneers in their own right, as members of the Sex Pistols and the Culture Club, respectively; Hollie got her start in a later edition of all-female punk band The Slits).
Despite the change in scenery and personnel, the vibe on “Survive” and “Freefalling,” a pair of singles dropping this Friday but available to stream right here, departs only cosmetically from the work we’ve come to know from her. Ditto for “Angel Fire,” the album’s lead track, which debuted this summer. It’s a slightly more commercial sound than the dub-inspired one crafted by Prince Fatty, but the reggae vibes are still very much intact. Check out the two new tunes below, along with Vessel of Love track list, and watch our webisode “Lovers Rock Style with Hollie Cook” on LargeUp TV.
Hollie Cook – Vessel of Love Track List
1. Angel Fire
2. Stay Alive
4. Ghostly Fading
6. Lunar Addiction
7. Turn It Around
8. Vessel Of Love
10. Far From Me