Chattanooga musician Heather Leigh Holt (AKA Heatherly) looks for the minute and memorable details in her songs, the extended twang of an acoustic guitar string or the curling rhythm surrounding a specific couplet. Her work is grounded in a folk austerity but is given room to move through her particularly affecting voice and the corresponding melodies she invokes through it. Holt moved to Chattanooga after graduating from the University of Georgia, where she pursued an education in music with a special focus given to percussive elements. And though her music is generally the product of her own inspiration, fingers and voice, she has recently recruited singer Karmon French and guitarist Jesse Jungkurth to help fill in some open space within her songs.
On her new self-titled EP, Holt discovers the inherent force and power of simple things sung beautifully. These songs bleed, ache and refuse to be intimidated. The arrangements hew close to the singer-songwriters of the ’60s and ’70s that she so obviously admires, but she’s evoking more than casual musical ghosts on these tracks. There’s a stunning and revelatory tone that allows these words and chords to become more than just a series of songs to be heard-they become a connection to a far larger emotional viewpoint that easily submerges you as the music pours from your speakers. Holt has the kind of communal voice that speaks in universal truths while exploring smaller mysteries that haunt the edges of our periphery. The music is uncomplicated and gorgeous, and is just waiting for you to press play.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.