“You go to Hollywood to be a star”
When NME wrote that singer-songwriter Honey Gentry was ‘making elegantly sad pop to break your heart,’ they pinned this artist perfectly. Crawling, saccharine vocals overlap reverb-soaked string led melodies in the Lana Del Ray-esque songs on Honey Gentry’s EP ‘Dreamlover’.
The opening title track ‘Dreamlover’ is lazy and ethereal. Comprising seemingly only of vocals and electronic guitar, it creates haunting space within the tune. Slowly plucked strings reverberate eerily throughout, coming climatically to centre stage after the last few drawn out notes from Honey Gentry. This single gently sings: “You have a heavy, broken heart/ in my dreams/ We had a chance for a brand-new start/ in my dreams,” telling a tale of a reimagined love affair coming to an end.
Track two follows a similar lyrical vein, opening with “you left my heart black and blue.” Honey Gentry demonstrates a knack for fetching hooks and gradually building choruses that grow in instrumental and vocal grandeur with ‘Daydream Baby’. Her lyrics are evocative and paint pictures of 60s film cameras capturing desert themes romance. To pull away from the possible monotony of slow melodies, the increasing pace in this track and heavier bass is a welcome production decision. Perhaps the best track on this EP, ‘Daydream Baby’ is notable for its diverse production and more interesting tune.
‘Now I Wait’ takes on forefront vocals and backseat instrumentals again, transforming this sparse track to a slow-rolling love song. At times, the vocals border on crooning and the lyrics stray to being cliché and mawkish. Yet the final track, ‘Heart of Gold’, is less dewy-eyed.
Perhaps what we look from for singer-songwriters is stories we can picture and get lost in, in the same way we get lost in cinema and literature. It’s a genre that stands out not only for its transportive and romantic abilities but also for the possibility of the artist to cross genres melodically in narration. Here, Honey Gentry demonstrates the welcome singer-songwriter style, telling a story about someone fleeing Hollywood in a country music manner. Although the listener may expect a drop or a change of pace as the song fizzles out, it nonetheless has an understated texture and expressive plot that showcase impressive song-writing skills.
‘Dreamlover’ is the second EP from this London based artist, following 2018’s well-received ‘Moonlight’. Through a lens smeared with nostalgia, this second piece of work is ethereal and haunting, laying bare the instrumentals to feature Honey Gentry’s signature vocal style. It is more stagnant than dynamic but will suit slow summer mornings nicely.
‘Dreamlover’ will be released on 22nd August 2018.