[Note: This picture above is not of the single, but of the album Human scheduled to release in September 2017]
Release Date: August 4th 2017
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Holly Starr – Bruises (iTunes/Amazon mp3)
Possibly one of the most successful independent young artists over the last few years with the releases of highly popular albums like Everything I Need (2015), Focus (2012) and Tapestry (2010), up and coming artist Holly Starr of Save the City Records is now continuing this run of lyrical proficiency and e motive songwriting in her new project Human releasing in September 2017 through the funds raised via Kickstarter (and her second project under the independent label Artist Garden Entertainment). Being a mainstay in Christian festivals over the years, from CreationFest to Lifefest, as well as delivering singles like “Don’t Have Love” and “Father’s Eyes”, both of which have fallen inside the top 25 on radio; Holly’s presence in Christian radio and in Christian music overall is as much an asset at it is an honour for anyone hearing Holly’s powerful voice and maturity beyond her years. And with singles that arose from Everything I Need– ‘God Is’, ‘Never Going Back’ and ‘Through Me’, being some of my own very favourites of Holly’s ever, it’s only natural for me to become excited whenever this young and fast-popular artist reveals something new. Back in February she released ‘Run the Race’- which has been and probably will be the most pop song I’ve heard her record. An anthem that reminds us all to run the race of life to completion with Christ beside us cheering us on, Holly’s first new song since her 2015 EP Everything I Need is a different musical vein she has travelled upon, and while much of her die-hard fans could be indifferent about her shift from piano/reflective ballads (shown through much of Tapestry and Embraced) to more of a pop focus, Holly’s motivations and message has always stayed the same. So what can be said about her new song ‘Bruises’, from her new album Human releasing September-time (I can also assume that ‘Run the Race’ is also part of the upcoming album right?)? Is it as reflective as songs gone past like ‘You Love Me Anyway’, ‘I Believe’ and ‘Grace For All’? Or in the similar vein as ‘Run the Race’? Regardless of the tempo of the track, Holly nevertheless showcases a heart and hope that isn’t as expressed as freely as people would like within the CCM industry. Human is just around the corner, and songs like ‘Bruises’ and ‘Run the Race’ allow us to anticipate her new album. A must for anyone who loves Bethany Dillon, Francesca Battistelli or Lindsay McCaul!
REAL. That is the word that drives Holly Starr to be the artist she is: honest, passionate, and personal. The daughter of an onion-farmer, Starr began writing songs at a young age to share Christ with her friends in a way they could understand. Now at 26, that mission has not changed. Over ten years and four albums later, Starr has travelled the country sharing this message of hope and joy with youth and adults alike, through her transparent, fun personality. There’s no pretending with Starr. Her heart and lyrics bleed the honesties of life. She invites her listener to hear just how God has worked despite the ups and downs she has faced. “Real life requires real people,” says Starr, “and I’m trying my best to be one of those.” Her new song “Bruises” reminds your listeners that they are more than their scars and their bruises…that they’re truly a treasure in the middle of a broken world.
And can you add anything, to the aforementioned quote, obtained on daily.mpe so as to describe this song ‘Bruises’ to the adequacy the song needs? Cause frankly, I don’t think I can. ‘Bruises’, though as electronic and pop as it is, is a step into the unknown by Holly, who has in essence, to this point, thrived a lot on ballads and slower songs. While the odd few songs have been upbeat, I reckon this new album (inclusive of ‘Run the Race’ and ‘Bruises’) will be more upbeat…and that is a good thing. ‘Bruises’ invites us to see the beauty inside the flawed, the wonder inside the mundane, and the exciting inside the flat and unimaginative. Because at the end of the day, each moment was created for us to enjoy and be excited about, even during the moments that can seem dull and uninteresting on the surface. We are much more than our pain, our hurt, our scars and bruises. We are treasured, loved, we are priceless and heirs to the throne of heaven. ‘Bruises’ allows us to delve into this fact, amidst all the electronic effects. A song that is certain to be in rotation on my iTunes playlist for months to come, well done to Holly for such an inspiring song, one that is one of the catchiest melodies I’ve heard from her ever since ‘Father’s Eyes’!
Holly’s new song, as much as Focus and Everything I Need previously, is a breath of fresh air in a music industry still heavily focused on male singers and bands. Tackling heavy issues as the song title suggests (who would call a song ‘Bruises’?) in a light-hearted and pop-infused manner… ‘Bruises’ is definitely one of the most out-of-the-box and different song I’ve heard in a long time. A song that’s certain to be enjoyed by listeners and critics alike as Holly, similar vocally to artists like Nichole Nordeman, Lindsay McCaul and Bethany Dillon; remind us all that God Himself can take all our bruises and scars, shaping and moulding them into something that can be used by us to bring others closer to Himself. A certain purchase if you love these aforementioned artists, or if you enjoy music geared towards teenagers/young adults; this new song is a must purchase, one that will make you singing again and again, that ‘…You’re a treasure in a broken world…you shine brighter than a billion stars…in a world where the truth is confusing, you are more than your scars and your bruises…’ Kudos to Holly for such a standout song, can’t wait til the new album coming September 2017!
RIYL: Matthew West, Britt Nicole, Francesca Battistelli, Bethany Dillon, Lindsay McCaul