Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Justin Borbely
No. 1 on our Toppa Top 10 albums list for 2011, British singer Hollie Cook’s self-titled debut LP was the one record everyone on our highly opinionated team could agree on this year. Brilliantly produced and mixed by engineer Mike “Prince Fatty” Pelanconi and topped off with Cook’s intoxicating vocal presence and lovelorn lyrics, the LP had a transportive quality, evoking some of the best elements of past U.K. movements like Lovers Rock and 2 Tone while sounding fresh enough to warrant much wider exposure today. Though a new name to most, Hollie has a neat little backstory: she’s the London-born daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and a British-born mother of St. Lucian extraction, and played for several years in a reformed version of the iconic female punk-reggae band, the Slits, with her parents’ good friend, the late Ari Up. We feel so strongly about her future prospects that we’re declaring her our second annual LargeUp “Rookie of the Year” (and, for the second year in a row, the award’s going to a Brit). We recently spoke with Hollie via Skype about her unique upbringing, how her LP took shape, and what we can expect from her in the New Year.