The Hollows
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The Hollows

Band Alternative Folk


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The best kept secret in music


"The Hollows - It was on fire when i lay down on it"

I had been looking forward to listening to The Hollows new album 'It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It' since I first reviewed some sample tracks from it earlier this year, and now finally listening to the full album this past week, I have to say it was well worth the wait. This album is a real gem.

While everything about the appearance of this album has the personal touch, from the artwork to the hand-made packaging, tied and bound, the songs on it are every bit as much so, with some beautifully fragile accounts of reaching out from sorrow. If you want to draw comparisons, consider Sparklehorse's quieter moments such as 'Junebug' or 'Sad and Beautiful World'. It's folkish, but predominantly indie, and quite touching. It is also dotted with some really sweet poetic lyrics, such as in 'Dreamt You Woke' leading off tenderly with 'the winter blossoms just appeared, fell to ground like little tears, where you lay blanket green, all of this was in my dream' but coupled with some despondantly revealing lines, most striking in 'Cavalry' with 'it seems we have no great expectations, we dream our dreams, but live a lie', there are many moments on this album that although are crushingly sorrowful, are also truly majestic.

This is actually the third release from The Hollows. Previously they have released a mini-album 'Seeking To Stand Beautifully On The Earth' and a 3-inch CD EP 'We Could Sleep This Season Through'. The band were also recently asked to contribute a song to the soundtrack to 'Superheros', an independent film by award-winning director Ed Radtke. They are currently arranging gigs around Ireland to promote the release and already have plans to begin recording material for a new EP. The album is finding its way to record stores and distributors around Ireland and the UK, and is also available online through Road Records.

- The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

"It was on fire when i lay down on it"

There's a lot to be said for quiet music, and the slow motion whispers that dominate this album from Dublin duo The Hollows indicate that they would concur. Greg O'Brien and Gary Morrison's painstakingly fragile folky tracks do sometimes sound as if the merest touch would send them crashing to the floor. Yet there are enough examples of a robust song writing craft to dispel any notions about wimpiness that their brittle instrumentation may otherwise convey. "Cavalry" and "It's all sorrow" are two songs that stand tall, both with strident, old fashioned echoes of a time when lovelorn ballads were darker and more searing. While there are many acts who try to patrol similar terrain, few can demonstrate as confident a touch with their material and craft as O'Brien and Morrison.

3/5 - Jim Carroll - The Ticket (The Irish Times)

"It was on fire when i lay down on it (Radio play)"

Songs from The Hollows new album "it was on fire when i lay down on it" have received radio play on a number of shows including:

The Last Splash - Alison Curtis - Today F.M. (National Radio)

The Indie Hour - Aoife Mc - Anna Livia - National Radio

"It was on fire when i lay down on it"

Dublin-based duo The Hollows have been quietly (almost silently) winning fans with their intimate live shows of late, and on the evidence of the superbly titled "it was on fire when i lay down on it" (which comes in suitably scorched packaging, put together by the band themselves), they may not remain a secret for long.

It was on fire... is The Hollows' third release and first album proper, created, recorded and produced at home with Steve Fanagan taking care of knob twiddling duties. On it they remain true to their mostly American influences, coming across as Ireland's answer to Mark Linkous, Bright Eyes and Grandaddy all rolled into one, with a touch of Canadian maverick Chad Van Gaalen for good measure.

The Music is so quiet and not-quite there that it's almost opaque, a combination of tenderly plucked guitars, organ, piano and drums, which blend perfectly alongside gentle electronica. All the while, the vocals are either crooned or whispered, creating a whole that's warmer than a lazy summer sunday, fuzzier than the effects of a bottle and a half of red wine and as welcome as a bucket of ice cold water on a sultry New York afternoon.

The pace never rises above the stately, from the funeral Americana of 'Eventually', through the Sparklehorse homage of "I dreamt you woke" and on the soft electronic instrumental of 'I will see you again' or the gorgeous 'By your bedside'. 'Cavalry' begins like a countrified take on The Commodores' 'Easy (Like Sunday Morning)' but there any similarities with the soul classic ends. This is a song that's beautiful yet undeniably bleak, as is the phenomenal 'Close My Eyes', a stunning song that positively aches with yearning.

It was on fire... is far from the sunniest album you're likely to hear this year - 'It's all sorrow' alone makes misery sound so damned pleasant - so those prone to bouts of melancholia would perhaps be best advised to approach with caution. Indeed, 'The Hollows' tenderised brand of bitter-sweet Americana certainly won't be to everyone's tastes, but for this listener's money, it is arguably one of the biggest surprises of the year from an Irish perspective and the most serendipitous of finds. Perfect sunday morning music, and not just for those coming down.

8.5/10 - John Walshe - Hotpress

"It was on Fire when i lay down on it"

...on Slow Loris (Currently my fave animal, an incredible hybrid betwixt a Sloth & a Lemur seemingly) is a new CD by THE HOLLOWS. Can anyone beat this label's heart burstingly loving packaging? This one's all burnt round the edges & tied up with twine to look 150 years old. 'It was on fire when I lay down on it' is chock full of more slow & beautiful folk imbued songs hinting at musical plains occupied past & present by Casiotone FTPA, Grandaddy & Sparklehorse. Parts of this album could well appeal to fans of the aforementioned Iron & Wine too. If you dug the previous 3" CD by these (and we shifted a few!) then you'll clasp this to yr fluttering heart. Divine twinkling melancholy.
- Norman Records


"It was on fire when i lay down on it" - Slow Loris 2006 - full lenght album.

"We could sleep this season through" - Slow Loris - 2004 - E.P.

"Seeking to stand Beautifully on the Earth" - released independently 2002 - Mini album.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Hollows are Dublin based duo Greg O'Brien and Gary Morrison. They first met each other twelve years ago at the secondary school they attended and since then they have been playing music together. They started out playing together in a band called "Our Space Age Army". The Music they created then was guitar laden rock which took influence from many bands including Mogwai, Godspeed you black emperor!, Joy Division and Pavement.

In 2001 "Our Space Age Army" disbanded but Greg and Gary continued to make music together. It was with the creation of this music that "The Hollows" were born. The Duo have been creating music under the name "the hollows" for five years now and in this time they have released a mini album ("Seeking to stand Beautifully on the Earth" 2002), An E.P. ("We could sleep this season through" 2004) and have most recently released their debut full length album ("it was on fire when i lay down on it" 2006) on independent Dublin based label Slow Loris. They are also currently working on a new e.p. due for release in early autumn 2006.

Since they formed the hollows have played with many high profile Irish bands including Paul O’Reilly, The Frames, Josh Ritter (America), Mic Cristopher, Nina Hynes, Windings, Miriam Ingram, Crayonsmith, The Coldspoon Conspiracy, Ian Whitty, Northstation, Steve Fanagan, Karl Him, Aaron Coyne (Mirakil whip) and The Pat Cannons.