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Holly Macve: 2017

Holly Macve at WFUV

Holly Macve at WFUV (photo by Brian Gallagher)



Holly Macve might have been born in Galway, Ireland, and raised in rural England, but her yearning, wistful vocals are firmly entrenched in classic country western and bluegrass, a style more suited to the hills of Kentucky than the Yorkshire moors of her youth.

The now Brighton-based singer and guitarist released her debut album, Golden Eagle, in the spring of 2017 when she was only 21. It’s a collection of songs partly inspired by the passage of childhood and the death of her beloved grandfather, a classical composer. Macve's stormy ballads possess a maturity that belies her youth: she can break hearts with the plaintive twang and catch of her voice.

When Macve visited FUV’s Studio A, she played two of her beautiful ballads — “Timbuktu” and “No One Has The Answer.” She spoke about her past as a struggling artist and café waitress and her serendipitous encounter with Bella Union co-founder Simon Raymonde and his wife Abbey — a friendship that began over scrambled eggs, segued to an open mic night, and eventually led to a record deal.

[recorded: 5/17/17]