Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on NuHolli, a rising independent artist who has just released a new single produced by Party Michael. The song, ‘Hoppin,’ is a rather good effort and excursion through subject matter I’m usually not particularly fond of reviewing. (More on that below.) NuHolli’s online presence is very lacking, and thus, we’ll focus entirely on her music here without delving into her persona much. Let’s jump right in.
As aforementioned, I’m not a fan of party tracks. You’re drunk, still drinking, and want to sound like the next Ke$ha. I get it, and in complete honesty, I get a dozen of these tracks in my inbox every week. Party hip hop and party pop are subgenres that breed mediocrity and creatively void work. ‘Hoppin’ does embrace some of those tropes, yes, but it does so in a fairly creative way. Thus, I think it’s actually the best ‘party’ track we’ve touched on in the Spotlight.
Party Michael’s production is likely the reason this track goes down so smoothly. The production doesn’t feel overproduced, a near-constant and inevitable pitfall of these types of songs. Instead, it highlights NuHolli elegantly and I love some of the intricacy to Michael's work. When you listen to the intro and outro of the tune, you’re met with some of the more creative synthesizer composition I’ve heard in months. I dig the beats, too. Nothing feels too generic or overused, and hence, Party Michael avoids pretty much every obstacle his counterparts blatantly (and drunkenly) run straight into.
NuHolli is a surprisingly tactful vocalist. Even though her subject matter is a tad bland, she really does sell it with a soulful performance. “Bottles in the air and I’m super unaware” is painfully stereotypical, but in the choruses, her crooning is inviting and very R&B-ish. I’d love to see this girl matched with good, meaningful lyricism. That may be my only significant critique: the lyricism is genuinely bad.
Despite the shoddy lyrics, ‘Hoppin’ is the best pop party track we’ve touched on in the Spotlight, and most certainly the kindest I’ve ever been to a track of its nature. That is entirely due to Party Michael’s excellent production and NuHolli’s good delivery. The next step? Getting some good words to jive with the good sounds they're creating.