Holly Henderson
Holly Henderson

Exclusive Interview: Holly Henderson discusses her latest single “Loneliness” and upcoming debut album “Monday Green”

Things are already off to a great start for Holly Henderson. The alternative singer-songwriter and guitarist released the brilliant Britpop-inspired “Loneliness” last week, with her debut album “Monday Green” set for release on 7th June.

Holly Henderson - "Loneliness" single cover

With Holly also set to release her new single, “Pride Can Wait”, very soon, we at CelebMix got the chance to talk to her about the meaning of “Loneliness”, as well as her upcoming album.

What inspired you to write “Loneliness”?

Not to oversimplify, but I’d been pretty lonely at the time. To clarify, I don’t resent social media, but I wanted to make the connection between our increasing need to fabricate happiness/success online, yet in light of doing this, the people around me seemed no less alone and dissatisfied with their lives, in fact sometimes, they were more so than usual. Wonderful things can come from the internet, but sheer isolation is an understated side effect. I wanted in a way that wasn’t too heavy, to make my own statement in reflection of these feelings.

Do you think that people who use social media a lot to connect with others can relate to the song’s message?

I’d like to think so. It might not ring true with everyone, but I do think it’s a widely unspoken thing, especially amongst musicians. We’re all just trying to get on, and make the most of our successes when they come, but nobody really talks about how isolating it can be on the other side of the screen sometimes.

How did you come up with the concept for the “Loneliness” music video?

It was hard to try and articulate the point without being too obvious, or too serious. I wanted it to be a bit tongue in cheek. We decided more to reflect the ‘all dressed up with nowhere to go’ angle. Especially from my perspective as a woman with social media being a big part of my life, I’ve found myself doing my makeup in my room with pyjamas on, trying on different clothes but never leaving the house, working in a bun with no makeup and a shirt I’ve worn for a week, but posting a far more savoury photo online to keep up appearances. I don’t think there’s any shame in admitting when you’re lonely, bored, and totally lying to yourself, it’s part and parcel of being a human. So much of social media is about stifling that reality. I realised how ridiculous it all was and really wanted to get that across in the video.

Is “Loneliness” an indication of what your upcoming album “Monday Green” is going to sound like, or is it a mixture of different styles and sounds?

It’s definitely a mix, I was 19/20 when I wrote most of the songs on the album, so my brain was on fire with ideas but I hadn’t refined my ability to arrange them in a typically cohesive ‘album’ way. But I think that’s what makes it interesting. Listening back, I can hear my own brain working and changing as the album progresses.

What was it like working with Pete Thorn for “Monday Green”?

A learning curve, and really fun. He has a great mix of being a mentor and helped me channel ideas without snuffing them out, but also of being a friend, and pushed me further when I wasn’t sure, that sort of thing. I am quite stubborn, and I was excited about learning from someone like him, but I also thought I knew better a lot of the time, like when it came to my own limitations. He isn’t afraid to tell me something could be better, I could play that solo better, push my voice harder here, it was a good balance of being challenged, and being supported, and I really needed both.

How different does your next single sound from “Loneliness”?

Pretty different. Its called “Pride Can Wait” and it represents the other side of the album, a more melodic, darker side maybe. I sometimes really hear the Radiohead and Bowie influences in this track, which is very different from “Loneliness”, and it’s a favourite to play live, so I’m really excited to see what people think. I knew “Loneliness” was going to be an instant love or hate, it’s one of those songs. But the next single isn’t as stark as that. I’m just hoping it’ll really appeal to anyone that gives it the opportunity to speak for itself.
Do you have a favourite song from “Monday Green”?
They all have moments that I love for different reasons. I’m not sure if it’s my favourite, but I’m most interested to hear what people think about “Frantic”.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
I could go on forever because it totally depends on the time of day. But people like Bowie, Carole King, Bernard Butler, Brian Wilson, will always stick with me regardless of what I’m working on.
What are some of your favourite songs at the moment?
I’ve been listening to a lot of The Lemon Twigs, especially their song “If You Give Enough”. It’s one of those songs that knock me down several pegs as a songwriter. I also tend to go back in time a lot, and I’ve fallen back in love with Gabor Szabo – “Song of Injured Love”, and anything by Simon and Garfunkel lately.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

Almost impossible to pick one! But I would definitely love to collaborate with someone like Steven Wilson. I think we’re similar in a sense that we’re both quite conceptual and have lots of dark, cinematic references as well as Prog, Pop, etc, etc. But we also (from what I’ve heard) work very differently, and I think even if it was a disaster and we ended up nearly killing each other, I reckon the result would be very interesting.

Asides from guitar, can you play any other musical instruments?
I play piano and bass too, I started with piano but guitar is definitely my comfortable place now.
It would be great to see you perform live! Will you be planning a tour in the future?
I just played 2 shows this past weekend in Maidstone and Brighton with my band. There will be more dates coming soon.
Holly would also like to say: “Thank you for the support and taking the time to interview me, was great to chat!” We would also like to thank Holly for giving us the opportunity to talk to her.
If you want to keep up with Holly Henderson, make sure to check out her official website and follow her social media links:
Let us know your thoughts on the chat with Holly Henderson and “Loneliness” over on Twitter @CelebMix!

Written by Isla Williams

I'm a journalism graduate with a passion for pop culture! Also a cheese and chocolate enthusiast. I also write for Fuzzable!