Originally from Louisiana and making his way to Nashville, the country and Americana songwriter John Hollier, known as simply Hollier, is bringing a bold and refreshing wave to the indie world.
Blending retro guitar with a lively country feel, Hollier brought the heat while backing up artists such as Cassadee Pope, Carly Pearce, Levi Hummon, Logan Brill, and many more. While on tour, he found that songwriting had become a vessel to explain the highs and lows, as well as the comparisons of camaraderie and monotony after meeting so many people in so many different places.
Hollier released his first single, “No Saving This”, in early 2019. The full-bodied instrumentals in this track create a vibrant and fun atmosphere, while the lyrics reminisce on a relationship that fell through. Then releasing a duo of “Wild Eyes” and “Wrestle My Heart” in late 2019, the songs portray two different ends of the spectrum. The hard-rock and electric guitar of “Wild Eyes” draw a stark contrast with the acoustic and pure spirited energy of “Wrestle My Heart”.
With an April 2020 release, “Fall in Line,” whisked more squarely into the world of Americana, Hollier diligently combined folk and rock with a high-string Irish feel. You can’t help but imagine country dancing as the fast-paced rhythm swings along. The end of 2020 saw “War Cry” and “The White Lies” enter the scene, reminding us of concerts dearly missed. The former brings you on an adventure with the dynamic harmonies, while the passionate “War Cry” was featured on the Rockin’ Vibes and All New Rock Spotify playlists as well as gathered over 300k streams, earning its spot in the Indie Folx “Best Rock Songs” for Summer 2019.
Freeing and playful, “Jeff Buckley’s Ghost” is the newest addition to Hollier’s catalog. Country twang mixes with the soul of rock and roll to create a most satisfying listening experience. The imagery and clever twist of words give it a humorous feel, while the intentionally heartfelt and liberating melody has you melting under the rays of the sun.
With familiar lyrics like “Truck stop coffee and an old Ford van” and “400 miles with a song to sing”, road-induced nostalgia comes flooding in, full of sweet little memories that make up the bigger picture in your life. In the chorus he sings, “When that moon’s gonna rise down that Mississippi road, coverin’ me as I head to the coast/So if I die young with both of my boots on, I’d be prayin’ to the Father, the Son, and Jeff Buckley’s ghost”. He describes the power of music to cleanse you from your troubles and bring you to an escape and adventure at the same time. The legends that have gone before us leave a lasting impact, and in this case affecting rock music years later.
Hollier has seen it all, from playing in the middle of nowhere in tiny bars in clubs, to playing more well known venues on the East Coast. Those were the times that allowed him to figure out what he wanted to say as an artist as well as the sound of the band. As of now, he’s gearing up for more shows, and his first full-length album, which is set to release later this year.