Hollis Arkham

Hollis Arkham


Combines folk and pop sensibilities into concise four minute brooding, tales of urban and rural isolation.


Brandon Shantz - Hollis Arkham

The road to Hollis Arkham was a long one, but Brandon Shantz traveled it the only way he knew how: with a guitar on his back, a cigarette between his lips and both eyes on the road ahead. Hollis Arkham is Brandon's first solo release but far from his only musical effort.
Growing up in Oakville, On, Brandon tripped and weaved through the local band circuit before he realized he wanted more than just small-venue shows and the occasional failed studio session.
"We were mostly too lazy to go on tour so we never really did anything besides an over-produced EP weeks before we officially called it quits," Shantz said. "After one bad dream too many I made a crack decision to move to Montreal."
Though it may not have looked like it from the dank subway terminals of Quebec's hub, Shantz's move was a step in the right direction. He bought a portable amp and quit his job to join the buskers dotting the city's underground routes.
"Of all the jobs I ever worked, no paycheque ever was near as satisfying as coming home at noon, cranking up my Chuck Berry records and counting my quarters and toonies," Shantz said. "It was a beautiful feeling living straight off my expression…but the dirty air down there made me sick often and I ended up being in the common bohemian circumstance of having to choose between food and cigarettes on a fairly regular basis."
One day at a stop at Guy Concordia, a regular passer-by offered Shantz a contract playing in a strolling cruise-ship trio. While catching up with the seasoned musicians in the trio proved more difficult than he'd thought, the ship lent a handful of unique opportunities to the future of Shantz's career.
He met a sound engineer from London, On. who offered to record some of his songs and a Russian piano player who orchestrated a few of the tracks on Hollis Arkham. The album is set for release in April, followed by a tour of Eastern Canada but life on the road is nothing new to Shantz. With his dense and poignant upcoming debut, things are starting to fall into place for Shantz and a landscape of new roads lies at his feet.

- Emma Renda
Arts Editor
"The Charlatan"
Carleton University Independent Newspaper


Corvus and Snow

Written By: Hollis Arkham

As I drift to the land of the Corvus and Snow
I see a harvest of soul-sickened men
Who’ve swallowed their gold
On this island where the end meets the means
Once fortune in the eyes
Now turns a pale cheek
In dawns light
There’s more than meets the eye
When the meter comes around
We drift the open sea
Scenes of serpents and cherubim
Compete for offerings
In dawns light
There’s more than meets the eye.
In these times
All the island will compete
For the love of the tide
The sun will gaze alone
In morning haze of the light
And the Corvus and the Snow
Will have their day


Written By: Hollis Arkham

when all is said when all is done
you won't be the only one
when all is passed to the child
find yourself into the file
before the fast the winter grows
gather now or curse the cold
don't kid yourself or act surprised
when you have to walk a 100 miles

to chase the habitat you know
but you won't fly today
maybe a 1000 generations
will see the fruits of your mistakes
the lines that draw the current kind
are far from red and gold
where is the feast of peace and summer
that was promised long ago

the middle man was seen to run
headless holding up a gun
the rest'll suffer hypnotized
ring the bell for dinnertime
before the sun the winter grows
only how a mother knows
don't kid yourself or act surprised
when flames consume what little tithes

were given to the gods they knew
when told the time to die was nigh
the river blocked with refusing flocks
when worship came to evil names

Fevered Fields

Written By: Hollis Arkham

i had a dream last night
that i crossed a path
and then went into flight
music played all around
so unfamiliar but such a pretty sound

gnashing of teeth and the strum of a harp
but you know that i don't care now
peace befalls a weary crown and i flow

as mr wilson guides my way
and the stars shine black in the day
in a phosphorescent sky
i rise to a song

crippled zen doctors talk
bout a moon dog that politely stalks
the maid of centurian homes
it bites her leg and she bleeds out a throne

fear of unwanted entry
brings me back to this world of waking
but i'll take fear, surreal
and i lay back

and live vicariously through the weird
and the questions for answers i feel
look forever through the looking glass

wigs of trees will laugh
birds of stone make a path
through the fevered fields of dawn
they harmonize but suffer all alone


"Hollis Arkham" - In Production (Spring 2008)

Set List

Hook in a Fish Eye
Sticks & Stones
Yellow and Red
Fevered Fields
Broken Arrows
You Know Why

Large catalogue of Material: Sets could easily exceed one hour. Many covers available.