Release date: 9th Sept, 2022
Format: Vinyl, CD & Digital
Criminal Heart is not just another album from another Singer-Songwriter.
According to Beth Nielsen-Chapman, “This is what killer songwriting sounds like.”
Legendary guitarist Robben Ford describes it as “Absolutely beautiful.”
And Chris Difford reckons it’s the work of a “Fantastic and special singer-songwriter.”
This is a ‘coming of age’ album from Hollie Rogers, who remains, by choice, completely independent. Known already for the candid, confessional nature of her songs and for live performances that make audiences laugh and cry, Hollie refers to the album, which has been 5 years in the making, as her “baby.” She says, “I’m not having a human one. I’m proud to have nurtured this one instead; it’s got a great personality and there’s absolutely no poop.”
The album is the most impressive showcase to date of Hollie’s songwriting prowess, with each song framing insight into a cohesive story; one that reveals itself more and more with each and every line of lyric. Love, lust and self-discovery are some of the key themes tightly bound together throughout, as an added maturity reveals itself in the record’s strong melodies, satisfying harmonic structures, and hooky choruses. (Try listening to ‘Sinner’ or ‘Love’ without them becoming earworms.)
Criminal Heart was produced at Masterlink Studios, Surrey – with a cast list of A Grade players in the shape of Masterlink’s House Band. Their CV’s run like a ‘who’s who of music’ – think Elton John to Herbie Hancock – and, much to Hollie’s particular delight… The Spice Girls. She admits, “Much as I may profess my influences to be exclusively the likes of Joan Armatrading and Joni Mitchell, I can’t deny there’s probably a smidge of Spicefluence hidden in there somewhere. Girl Power!”
But spice aside; this is no 90s pop record. Indeed, US guitar legend Robben Ford and UK chart-topper Jamie Lawson make guest appearances, as does a track produced by 4-time Grammy-Nominated James McMillan. All serving to add some particularly tasteful icing to a not-inconsiderable cake. (Or more likely, a pasty – since Hollie is from Penzance, Cornwall. It’s no coincidence that her name rhymes with a famous Pirate Ship.)
“A Magnificent & Powerful Voice” – Suzanne Vega
Hollie’s rich, unusual voice coupled with a refreshingly unpretentious and down-to-earth stage presence ensure her live performances consistently receive outstanding reviews. Suzanne Vega invited her to perform as her support act, while Nick Mason of Pink Floyd described her as:
“Amazing – reminiscent of Carole King and Joni Mitchell.” – Nick Mason (Pink Floyd)
Hollie is backed by BBC Introducing, and has opened for acts like KT Tunstall, Suzanne Vega, Midge Ure, Paolo Nutini and Ralph McTell. Often playing with a full backing band or as a duo with double bass, she is no stranger to festival stages at Glastonbury, Black Deer, Cornbury and more. She’s also a regular performer at events curated by Whispering Bob Harris, who recently invited her to record a live session at his home studio. Hollie is a graduate of The English Folk Expo’s prestigious Artist Mentorship Programme and her music is playlisted in all Caffè Nero stores worldwide.
“A sensitive & observant songwriter with an incredible voice” – Ralph McTell
The new album, Criminal Heart is out 9th September 2022, and the first singles including ‘Youth’ and ‘The Coast Road’ are already available to stream on all major platforms. The record was a completely independent undertaking – crowdfunded by her fanbase during a pandemic, whilst Hollie continues to self-manage all the key aspects of her career. “Sure I’m a single mum, but I’d be nothing without the support of my fans,” she says.
A rights-of-passage album of an artist leaving her 20’s behind and unashamedly coming to terms with her own needs and wants in womanhood, Criminal Heart is a significant record which will stand the test of time, to be seen as an increasingly important work – standing out like a beacon in a general sea of generic and disposable music releases.
Criminal Heart Track Listing
1. Criminal Heart
4. The Coast Road
5. Bring Me Some Peace
7. Love and Distance (Feat. Jamie Lawson & Robben Ford)
8. Girl On A Mission
9. One Last Time
10. Sinner (Band Version)
11. The Man You Had To Be
12. City Of Colour