Grooving and shaking up the local music scene
OFF the back of the online Be Hear Now festival, singer songwriter Freya Hollick is keen to kick off the new year with some regional live shows.
Booked in at Ballarat’s Volta on 30 January, the local artist said after a long hiatus from playing gigs it’s great to be back at it, particularly in her home town.
“I haven’t played in Ballarat since January last year aside from Be Hear Now but that wasn’t a live audience, so quite a different experience as much fun as it was,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to being in my hometown and playing, and I’m glad the venue’s able to reopen after this COVID stuff because venue’s in particular have been hit hard by this thing.
“Everyone’s just so excited to be out watching live music and we’re just excited to be playing, it’s even more special now than it’s ever been before.”
The genre bending musician describes her music as “desert, cosmic country”, incorporating elements of rock, country, blues and soul with raw, climbing vocals to produce her signature sound.
“I started out doing old time and classic country stuff and playing a lot of country festivals, but I got bored of that so we’ve been playing more rocky shows for the past couple of years,” Hollick said.
“Your sound evolves across time and you get into all different sorts of music often as a result your music changes a bit.
“In the next couple of months, I have single coming out from the record I’ve been working on, hopefully the record won’t be too far behind.”
Although some found inspiration in the darkness of last year’s pandemic, Hollick said lockdown for her was a particularly difficult time for her creativity and productivity.
“In March, I had just finished playing at a couple of festivals and headline shows, and was getting ready play a couple of other shows and they all got canned when the COVID news broke,” she said.
“I was meant to be going into the studio to finish off a record that I’ve been working on and the pin got pulled even going to Melbourne to do that sort of stuff.
“Not touring, seeing different landscapes or meeting new people like I usually am, I found it a lot harder to write music.”
Although lockdown proved to be a challenge, Hollick said she’s felt supported by the region’s venues, musicians, local councils and even the State Government to continue performing.
“Council, venues and even local businesses are all super supportive of music here, it’s wonderful, and I’ve been well supported by Music Victoria and Creative Victoria,” she said.
“Supporting local artists means that the culture of the town is always progressing and that there’s always fun and exciting things happening.
“To be able to support local artists means you’re keeping them in a job, it means that they will want to come back to their home town when they make it… it’s good for tourism, and it’s good for local business, accommodation and eateries.”