Hollow Coves - Nothing To Lose



This Australian duo, comprising Ryan Henderson and Matt Carins, make sun dappled folk-pop music marked with hints of psychedelia and deadpan heartbroken delivery. Their earlier Eps, and 2019 debut album, have received acclaim bordering on adulation in much of the music media and having been given the opportunity to listen to all eleven tracks on this, their second full-length album, I can predict more of the same is just around the corner. It’s been almost five years since they released MOMENTS, and the biggest strength of this new recording is the arrangements, which I’m sure is a lot of the reason that their previous releases are so well regarded. One of the best things about the songs this pair write, and record, is their messages—often quiet and understated, but always with plenty to say. This is one of those albums you can press play and just let it go, soaking in the lyrics and the insightful messages throughout without ever having to skip a track. They create sublime, wistful songs that draw on themes of love and longing in the best tradition of heartfelt roots music. Beautiful imagery and figurative language often underscore poignant stories of the ups-and-downs of life in various recognisable ways. The soundscapes and constructs are alluringly atmospheric and subtly beautiful as they create a world where contradictions blossom together. Where yin and yang can slow dance hand-in-hand, and fate and time don’t worry about the consequences of their union.

The set launches with the title song, featuring a skillfully picked acoustic guitar and loose blend of voices—a dreamy reconfiguration of the 1960s and 1970s Laurel Canyon playlist. The song explores the concept of being true to oneself, a theme that comes to the fore in the rhythmic tones of Harder To Fake It. With its toe-tapping beat and irresistibly insidious chorus this is a song that’s hard to resist. There’s a feeling of motion running through several of these tracks, beginning with the tranquil Letting Go. The song reflects a positive perspective, one that makes home a place that indeed is well worth returning to following years of travelling. The gorgeous Let’s Go, with its sublime harmonies, is all about following your dreams and exploring the world. Employing a universal image of teendom and first love, one that points to youthful innocence and escapism, Purple further exhibits Hollow Coves’ artistic vision for an alluring, gazey, psychedelic-bent sound and all-embracing tasteful aesthetics. Their beautifully evocative voices and deep well of philosophical curiosity, taking shape through detailed instrumentation and cinematic landscapes.

On the Way, a folksy ballad, bobs on a strum that might not actually be audible. The beat isn’t hasty, but it’s steady, as they sing the repeated chorus: ‘I’ll find my feet on the way.’ They close with See You Soon, a patient, expressive wash of sound that ebbs and flows, providing a perfect home for the pair’s excellent vocals. 

The luxurious structure stretches spaciously into a pop-inflected atmosphere in which—like many of us have done—they promise to reconnect with an old, almost forgotten friend. You’ll be hard pushed to hear a better acoustic record this year. With awesome vocals and musicianship and a good selection of new and original songs, it’s sure to be quickly added to many fans’—and radio stations’—playlists.


February 2024