The rise of Holly Humberstone has been a remarkable one. Before even dropping her debut album this month, the star had already collected a Brit Award, headlined some of the UK’s biggest venues and supported the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Girl in Red and Sam Fender.
Brilliantly honest lyrics and a uniquely ponderous voice have helped the star’s rise to become one of the UK’s most exciting rising stars. CelebMix walks though Holly Humberstone’s debut album Paint My Bedroom Black track-by-track.
‘Paint My Bedroom Black’
Holly Humberstone sticks the car in gear, takes a breath and hits the road. On the title track and opener, the 23-year-old seizes the end of a relationship as a chance for rebirth. There’s a euphoria in the steady plodding of this one.
‘Into Your Room’
Humberstone rues a break-up on her debut album’s most radio-ready flick ‘Into Your Room’. The single showcases the star’s songwriting at its most potent as she paints a sodden picture of herself throwing stones at a lover’s window with her heart beating out her chest.
Life on the road as a budding pop star seems to get the most of the singer on ‘Cocoon’. Humberstone longs for some familiar company and some comfort television in the twilight as she verges on melodrama.
‘Kissing In Swimming Pools’
The most outright ballad on Paint My Bedroom Black, the singer fights against goodbyes. Humberstone’s intimate lyrics hang in the air as she finishes the lovesick ditty on, “I just wanna be alone with you”.
It’s life on the road that seems to be getting Humberstone down again on ‘Ghost Me’. As another city rolls by from a hotel room, the singer cites The Truman Show as she closes her eyes and seeks solace in her memories over a plucky chorus.
‘Superbloodmoon’ feat D4vd
Potentially the record’s most brilliant moment comes as the star’s longing vocals combine with D4vd’s deep tones. From two corners of the world the artists breathe magic into the dark of night.
The confidence with which she left with on the record’s opener is nowhere to be seen as Humberstone turns to self-sabotage on album opener ‘Antichrist’. “You should run for your life,” she warns in the atmospheric hit.
The singer pens another apology on ‘Lauren’, this time to a best friend. The down-and-out murmurings of ‘Antichrist’ are replaced with a determination to patch things up over dreamy indie-pop production.
Clocking in at under 90 seconds, ‘Baby Blues’ feels almost like an interlude as Paint My Bedroom Black draws to a close. Humberstone’s vocals perform backflips through a vocoder as she pleads for solace to ‘climb inside that sweater’.
The most intriguing listen on Paint My Bedroom Black, Humberstone finds herself at her most assured on ‘Flatlining’ after an airy opening caves into a pounding demand for space as she ‘pulls the plug’ for good with an ex-lover.
Focused on introspection so far, Humberstone’s lyrics make a rare move from her own head as she thinks of the daily tasks a loved one might be doing as her heart aches from Japan. ‘Elvis Impersonators’ waltzes by with three minutes of homesickness.
The star packs a punch on ‘Girl’ as she dons her make-up and puts on a desperate performance to win the gaze of a crush. “In a perfect world, I’d be your girl,” she croons as the record draws to a close.
Humberstone closes her debut alone in a hotel room with a solitary guitar for company. A hopeful ode to time passing by, the record closes with the star’s ever-endearing voice at its very best.
Holly Humberstone heads out on a 20-date UK and European tour in 2024, including a stop at London’s Eventim Apollo. Tickets available here.