Holly Macve's voice stood out among the thousands of songs we heard before heading to SXSW earlier this year. Now 21, the singer — born in County Galway, now living in Brighton — had a sweet, lilting yodel reminiscent of Patsy Cline or Gillian Welch, more Appalachian than British. She hasn't finished her debut album yet; we have 2017 to look forward to for that. But this song, "No One Has The Answers," hints at why I think 2017 will be the year the world falls in love with the voice of Holly Macve.
The song's video — shot in Blackpool, a seaside resort in the north of England — was the perfect setting for the song, Macve tells NPR Music in an email. "We really wanted the video to draw on the existential thoughts within the song. It's sort of about feeling a bit out of place and confused about life and its meaning. I had been reading 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus shortly before we started filming, which helped reinforce those ideas and confirm we were on the right path with our concept for the video." Macve says that this town, this "timeworn paradise," has "become a ghost of its former self. It was the perfect place for the vibe we were going for."
You can also hear Holly Macve in a video captured at SXSW 2016, a South X Lullaby. She plans to return again to the U.S. next year, along with her debut album, and I have a feeling her British country & western ballads will be in heavy rotation here at home.