1 Aug 2022 | Michael Prebeg
Opening with Vanilla, Holly Humberstone immediately proves she’s anything but ordinary. We’re instantly drawn to her raw energy and captivated by her emotional sad-pop anthems. Her performance is simple and intimate as she takes to the stage solo, accompanied only by her instruments that she alternates throughout the set. Humberstone loops her vocals into choirs of gorgeous, delicate breaths to echo throughout the room alongside her powerful and impressive range.
“This is my first time in Australia and you guys have not disappointed,” she exclaims, before diving into her newest song Sleep Tight. The crowd is completely mesmerized by her and sing along to every word in unison. Humberstone’s song writing is honest and relatable, detailing specific stories and experiences about people in her life so effortlessly.
She connects well with the audience by opening up and sharing a preamble before a few tracks to give us more of an insight into her inspiration. Deep End was the first song she ever released, and she tells us was written about her sister who struggles with her mental health. “I always find it really frustrating watching someone that I care about so much struggle and not know how to help,” she reveals. “I wrote her this song to say, I don’t know what you’re going through, but I’m here for you and I love you.”
Humberstone reflects on growing up in a tiny village with cats and old people where it was very peaceful. When she moved to London for her career, she lived with lots of random people and instantly regretted it. London Is Lonely captures this experience of all the chaos and isolation she felt during this time. Despite her self-confessed awkwardness, she narrates the song so beautifully and we get lost in the moment of sweet harmonies with her.
“I feel like a 14-year-old girl still, even though I’m an adult,” jokes Humberstone, as she shares a personal track (Haunted House). The emotionally charged track sheds light on her parents moving out of her childhood home with things changing and the feeling of growing up too fast. She commands a complete silence in the room and only her spine-tingling vocals can be heard.
The standout moment of the set comes as Humberstone plays her song Scarlett. It receives the loudest singalong to her fast-paced lyrics about emotional heartbreak written for her friend to make her feel better and resonates with her audience the most. The audience can be heard almost shouting the pre-chorus, “You’re emotional grim reaper, I feel bad for you / I can’t entertain these games, hate to rain on your parade/ It’s just the way I’m feeling.”
She awkwardly returns to the stage for the encore ritual we expected, gracing us with two extra tracks including Friendly Fire and The Walls Are Way Too Thin. Humberstone is a rising star in the making. There’s no wonder that tonight’s show is completely sold out and after witnessing her first Australian tour with only a couple of EP’s released to date, her highly anticipated debut album and future career looks very promising.