Last year Royal Holland released his first EP “Volume One – The Maze”, which he recorded with local music great Brian Olive, and released to critical acclaim including winning the Ohio Music Award for “Best Folk Album”. He also spent a good portion of the year traveling the East Coast and Midwest on a one man tour. This year things have changed and things have stayed the same.
Holland has put together an ensemble band of venerable musicians who have helped flesh out the signature dreamy synth folk sound into a full fledged folk rock group. The players include Margaret Darling (Ex. Seedy Seeds on Aux. Percussion, keys and vocals) Wonky Tonk (Alt. Country Singer / Songwriter on Bass and vocals) Matt Retherford (House of Feeble Minds, ex. Koala Fires, Wojo Turnbull Acs, on drums) and sometimes Kendall Bruns (ex. Koala Fires, I Invented It! on Ukulele and vocals.) The group has been well received at home and on the road, most recently opening for Samantha Crain at the Southgate House Revival to a welcoming crowd.
Holland and his Ensemble will next be opening for Young Widows at the Northside Yacht Club on August 22nd. Publicist UK (a project from David Obuchowski of Distant Correspondent) will also be on the bill. Young Widows and Publicist UK will be sharing other dates on their tour supporting Publicist UKs debut album “Forgive Yourself” Releasing on punk label Relapse Records on August 21st. The album is described as cebrebral, dark and infectious post-punk groove, for fans of Breastmilk, Iceage, Nothing and Joy Division.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Holland will also be releasing his second EP (of a planned 3 initial EP releases) titled “Volume Two – Flamingo” on Friday September 18 at MOTR Pub. Cincinnati’s Nanny will be opening the free show. Holland once again enlisted the talents of Brian Olive to produce and record the new EP. “Brian and I have built a great working relationship” states Holland “This EP was a difficult one to finish, but Brian was a huge help in talking me down from some of the metaphorical ledges I placed myself on during recording”
Holland struggled with some seasonal depression during the recording of this EP, and the subject material and lyrical content reflect this. He struggled with the idea of giving up on the recording, but is proud that the EP is done and sounds as good as it does despite his difficulty. “We recorded this EP on the same tape used for ‘Volume One – The Maze’” Holland continues “and I find that really interesting in the fact that we physically used the bones of the first EP as a starting point for the new one. I’m literally building upon past success and sonically I feel the new EP is a step toward realizing the first Royal Holland LP”
“Volume Two – Flamingo” is already receiving critical acclaim that also tell the evolving nature of the music. “Royal Holland’s “Flamingo” shows the importance of the build. These are songs of a master craftsman.” – Skope Magazine, and “As folk musicians go, Royal Holland is quite clearly teetering on the edge of something else altogether. With a slew of influences creeping into his sound that range across the history of singer/songwriters, folk rockers and even 60’s pop, Volume Two: Flamingo flexes a heavy amount of talent and touch within its five tracks.” – Music Emissions
“Volume Two – Flamingo” is currently digitally available from Holland’s band camp page http://royalholland.bandcamp.