Holly Tomas
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Holly Tomas

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


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"No Doubting Tomas 4/5"


The title of the third album by Edinburgh singer-songwriter Holly Tomás boasts a doubly dark definition, an oubliette being either a concealed dungeon accessed by a trapdoor from above, or a secret pit within a dungeon, into which a prisoner might be thrown. The word derives from the French oublier -- to forget. It serves well as a psychological metaphor for Tomás's favoured territory, her songs dealing mainly with the impact of half-buried memories, fears, guilts or grievances.

It's intense, angsty, ambivalent stuff but Tomás has never lacked nerve as an artist, and here achieves her most satisfying resolution yet between medium and message. Downbeat introspection may be the mood, but it comes in a range of contrasting flavours, such as the supple, bluesy menace of Morgana and the quivering, Tori Amos-esque vulnerability of The Sea. Tomás's voice invites comparisons with a wide range of her peers, from Joni Mitchell to Shirley Manson. Diverse, sophisticated arrangements and sure-handed production, meanwhile, align an array of slinky dance grooves with shades of jazz, soul, rock, folk and funk. - Sunday Herald

"Oubliette - quality A1"


It's getting harder to find singers with a unique voice; and it's becoming impossible to find songwriters with a unique perspective. Holly Tomás has both and, although this album, her third, lacks big hooks or obvious choruses, the musicality and delicacy of her songs should snag anyone looking for something more challenging than Kylie.

The intelligence of Joni Mitchell, the avant-garde instincts of Laurie Anderson and the ambience of Enya - without sounding remotely like any of them. Don't expect to see Holly Tomás on 'Top Of The Pops' but don't be surprised when chart-topping waifs start name-dropping her in five years' time.

Sound Quality A (best)
Performance 1 (best) - Hi Fi News - Johnny Black


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