Holden Laurence – “A Whisper and She Takes Me”


Cleveland native Holden Laurence has a perfect grasp of ’80s post-punk twang. His second single, “A Whisper and She Takes Me” is a smashing success, integrating hook-y “ooh-la-la-la” guitar twang fixings as its core hook around very Johnny Marr-esque guitar tones throughout the verses. The final minute features some particularly excellent guitar work, with the post-punk rigidity letting loose a bit in favor of shaggier guitar twangs. The development goes beautifully with the “ooh-la-la-la”-ing, crafting a track that integrates the mope and twang of the ’80s (The Cure, The Smiths) with more immediate contemporaries.

The track is off Laurence’s full-length debut, Wild Empty Promises, which is set for release on May 5th, 2017. Laurence elaborates on his creative process for the release below:

“When I was finishing my last semester at Berklee in the spring of 2013, a lot of the foundations that I built my life upon either shifted or disintegrated altogether. I was struggling with the sudden and messy end of a long-term relationship, the shock of the Boston Marathon Bombings, the deterioration of my grandfather’s health due to Alzheimer’s, and the typical anxiety that accompanies college graduation… It all hit at the same time.

After graduation, I moved back to Cleveland to rejoin The Modern Electric. We spent most of the summer in Austin, Texas, recording our sophomore album, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. In the studio, I was in a state of creative bliss, but everywhere else I was an emotional train wreck. I began to slowly sift through the fallout of everything that happened that spring, trying to find meaning or wisdom, anything substantial so that I could begin to move on. One night I was brooding alone on a hotel room balcony that overlooked the highway, a cigarette in one hand and a sweating Lone Star in the other, and the line popped into my head, ‘Honey, you were ready to leave when you put your bags down.’ I started humming a melody and working out the lyrics, and in about ten minutes the song, “Ready to Leave,” was pretty much finished. That was the first of the batch of songs that eventually became Wild Empty Promises.”

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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