ARTIST PROFILE - FREYA JOSEPHINE HOLLICK

 

"Freya Josephine Hollick is an Old-Timey, Country, Folk singer/songwriter from the Victorian Goldfields. She was born and raised in Ballarat, and although she has tried her hand at city living, Ballarat and rural Victoria are where she is most at home. Freya has written and performed for many years in many different styles, though has always had her roots in folk music, coming to earlier 20th Century folk, blues and country music through a hunger for knowledge of how and from where modern music evolved. Well versed in all kinds of music, Freya has followed a path back to a time that holds true to her voice, her songwriting and her story. Freya's voice has been described as haunting, as both powerful and fragile, it is truly a voice unlike any other, and one that is of another time. 

Many conversations with Freya centre around her uncertainty as to where her songs and stories come from, "They seem to fall out of the sky at any time of day, and they pester you 'til you sit down and write it out... makes for a pretty disorganised life". Freya has said she often wakes late in the night, with a melody, or a line and, as commanded, stays up with the song until it is all out and whole. When asked about her process, Freya is certain that there isn't really a process, that any time she tries to write, without it coming to her "as an apparition of sorts", that the effort is audible in the song, and "that sure doesn't make for easy listening, which is what [she is] all about".  

Her parents would listen to music almost constantly as Freya and her siblings grew up. They listened to everything from Emmylou Harris, to Etta James, Sonic Youth, Ed Keupper, Bill Frisell, Sun Ra, Beastie Boys, Brian Eno, Massive Attack, Townes Van Zandt, Yo La Tengo, Steve Young, John Lee Hooker, Gene Clark and many more. As a result of so much exposure to wide variety of great music, Freya found her way through noise bands, experimental improvisational music, folk, rock, pop, classical and of course country music across the past twelve years performing throughout Victoria.

Freya immerses herself in her songs and the stories they tell, and it is no secret that she has certainly come through trials of her own in recent history. Her own life story, tells tales much like those in the heartbreaking country tunes of yesteryear that she has come to love so much. Her live performances are often candid, her banter between songs becomes more of a refreshingly honest and often darkly humorous account of her lived experience as a newly single mother of one and the loneliness, difficulty and beauty of it all. Her own songs such as Way Over Yonder With You and A Heart That Burns are truly stunning examples of the pain that she has turned in to song.

To hear her perform live is not only an exceptional experience because of her own stories but also what she brings to the songs of others. Her rendition of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, is enough to both chill you to the bone and wrap you in a warm embrace. This song in particular highlights what a powerful voice Freya has and her aptitude for phrasing and tone."

MIXTAPE:

Karen Dalton - It Hurts Me Too (first recorded by Tampa Red in 1940 and later by Elmore James)

I grew up listening to Karen Dalton, she has influenced me hugely and introduced me to the beauty of THE BLUES!

 

June Holm - Lullaby My Mother Sang To Me. 

The mother of Australian Country music, Australia's original yodelling sweetheart. I'd love to be able to yodel as high and clear as this lady, and play such beautiful guitar, she is a constant reminder to me to keep trying, learning, improving AND most of all, yodelling.

 

THE CARTER FAMILY - Wildwood Flower.

These ladies and their harmonies, masters of Appalachia, and probably my biggest influence to date. These ladies are my happy place. Such a strong female presence in music from way back when, step aside fellas, these ladies got some serious chops.

 

BESSIE SMITH!!!! - Gimme A Pigfoot and A Bottle O Beer.

This lady was BADASS. The original punk. She made no excuses for herself, a powerhouse of jazz and blues, sang with so much heart, so much pain. Damn girl. She has influenced so much of my singing and songwriting. Legend of song.

 

Dolly Parton - Do I Ever Cross Your Mind

I couldn't talk about ladies who have influenced me without mentioning the biggest sweetheart of all, the one and only DOLLY PARTON! I play this song live a lot, and I bloody love Dolly Parton, she also makes no excuses, she is a powerhouse, she is herself and stands solid and has dominated the music world since she hit the scene. So much love for this lady.