“One moment she could be Chrissie Hynde staring you out in black leather, but elsewhere, amid the more reflective, sensitive moments, you’re more inclined to peg her into the Alison Krauss school of folk-pop balladry, then again you can hear hints of Stevie Nicks and even Sheryl Crow.” - Alan Cackett
Filled with delicate sincerity and deeply moving in its themes of love and friendship, "Holding Hands" is a beautifully crafted piece of songwriting that is both wonderfully performed and arranged. Having read the track notes that accompany the piece, it's clear Lydia Brownfield writes from a place of truth and experience, and the intricate emotional threads that delicately weave themselves throughout the track can really be felt by the listener, resulting in a listening experience that feels both honest and wholly authentic.
There are some fascinating harmonic twists and turns that the song takes that help give it a rather unique edge when compared to other similar styled tracks. The opening for instance goes through a number of modulations that should feel rather stark and disjointed, yet Lydia deftly handles them with great care and a deft touch. This rather quick succession of key changes gives the track it's feeling of unpredictability, a trait that fits well with the themes it addresses. Whilst Lydia details the beauty of love and companionship, she has cleverly underpinned it with that sense of unpredictability that comes with any relationship. It's this push-pull dynamic that really helps elevate the track's themes and this continuous fluctuation between feelings of joy, apprehension, fear, and optimism, to name just a few, really helps to solidify the track's maturity and Lydia's songwriting prowess. Lydia gives a truly absorbing and emotive performance that strengthens all these elements, culminating in a piece of music that feels relatable, grounded, and wholeheartedly genuine.
“Lydia gives a truly absorbing and emotive performance that strengthens all these elements, culminating in a piece of music that feels relatable, grounded, and wholeheartedly genuine. ” - Andre Avanessian
About the Reviewer:
Andre Avanessian is a freelance session musician, composer, and sound engineer based in the U.K. Having studied music production and composition at a degree level, he has taken his passion for all things audio-related to a level that has allowed him to become both a competent musician and performer. Being a self-confessed "Guitar Nerd" Andre has been continually studying the guitar, as well as teaching it, helping students both learn the instrument, develop their songwriting, and how to become proficient in home recording.
“Imagine a grown-up Exene Cervenka meeting an edgier and less ambiguous Stevie Nicks, with some McCartney melodicism and Pete Townshend angst thrown in, and you’ve got Lydia Brownfield.”
— Rick Moore, Music News-Nashville