As a frank self-evaluation, Slow Down is so complete and honest it deserves listens, and then repeat listens.
Holly Rees is a songwriter from the North East who first bubbled up with her twinkling ‘Magpie’, which serves as the lead single and opening track, and sets the tone and textures of this EP well.
Acoustic plucking is the order of the day, with little embellishment beyond Holly’s own worn and personable voice. Slow Down does not intend to dazzle with colour, but to move, to touch, which it undoubtedly does. From the “maze of mistakes” in ‘Arms’ to the “impossible rules” of the third track, Rees has a way of spinning personal experience into universal stories. There is a familiarity to these songs, despite being drawn from part fiction and part personal experience.
Besides, for anyone fearing a slog, the EP closes with the bouncy ‘Missing Out’ which sees the addition of drumming, and more direct melodies, to produce a cheery end to this short-play. A total bop, basically. It ends Slow Down on a sunny note.
It is the job of the singer-songwriter to make the personal universal, and vice versa. Job done. Slow Down is a wonderful EP.