Holly Humberstone is beautifully unfinished in ‘work in progress’ EP

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Holly Humberstone - 'work in progress'

Recommended Tracks: “Dive”, “Easy Tiger”

Artists You Might Like: Lizzy McAlpine, Maisie Peters, Tommy Lefroy

No one truly knows who they are completely. We might think we have it all figured out, but how are you really supposed to know when all is said and done? We’re all works in progress, simply going through the motions. Indie-alternative English singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone is just like us — lost, confused and still figuring it out. Her latest EP, work in progress, released on March 15, delves into these themes of uncertainty and self-discovery when everything is up in the air.

Humberstone’s latest EP arrives just five months after Humberstone’s studio album, Paint My Bedroom Black. It also follows the heartbreaking “London Is Lonely” and indie-alternative “Cigarettes & Wine,” a collaboration with Del Water Gap. This work in progress EP serves as a cornerstone of raw vulnerability, offering vivid imagery that immerses you into her world. Through vibrant storytelling and her ethereal vocals, she invites listeners to join her on a journey of self-discovery. Having gained attention for her captivating live shows, Humberstone recently delivered an electrifying show in London, just two days before the EP’s release, showcasing her readiness to show us a new side to her with this latest body of work.

Written a few years ago, the lead single of the EP titled “Dive,” also serves as the opening track. “Dive” is a cautionary message to a man, warning him against becoming romantically involved with Humberstone. She expresses concern that her presence would only bring him more pain than necessary. Humberstone’s vocals are flowy and captivating, enveloping listeners in a haunting lullaby. In the bridge, she sings, “And I want this to work / Babe, I’m the worst / Don’t get your hopes up / ‘Cause I think we’re cursed / If I pull you closer,” acknowledging her shortcomings and the potential for this relationship to turn ugly quickly. But she concedes in the repeated chorus, “So, baby, dive in,” relinquishing her control in the relationship should the other person get lost in her. 

We often grapple with feeling like we aren’t enough, as if we are unfinished versions of ourselves, trying to piece things together — yet, sometimes, we sink. “Work in Progress” and “Down Swinging” delve into vulnerability in a way that resonates deeply, focusing on themes of resilience and self-discovery. “Work in Progress” creates a serene, dreamy atmosphere about supporting others through their growth journey, with minimal production. It feels like you are lost in translation, yet we must face that we are all works in progress. Humberstone’s ability to make others feel seen and heard makes this song feel like the warmest hug, because you’re not alone, “I know that you’re incomplete / But that’s why I’m on your street again / I’m loving this work in progress.” But “Down Swinging” embraces a powerful rawness that makes this song deeply relatable, complemented by a different sonic production that is more upbeat. Following the ending of “Work in Progress,” Humberstone acknowledges, “I’m thinking that I need the rest,” signaling a shift in tone that plays out in “Down Swinging.” The song’s chorus vividly paints a picture, remaining unfazed but making you feel alive.

In the EP’s concluding track, “Easy Tiger,” Humberstone’s gentle acoustic guitar contrasts with the earlier frustration conveyed in “Down Swinging.” Serving as the primary ballad of the EP, it offers an introspective and emotionally heart-wrenching conclusion to work in progress. Humberstone reflects on spending time alone in her room, singing that she’s “got a staring contest going with the moon.” She details her experience of attempting to put on a brave face and dress up, but admits, “I get dressed up for nothing.” Nevertheless, Humberstone bares her soul in this raw and heartfelt track. In the chorus, she sings, “Settle down now, easy tiger / it’ll all be over soon / Put your feet up on the dashboard / And we’ll ride this out together,” to offer some reassurance and comfort. Even through the hard times, Humberstone isn’t alone; she finds moments of peace amidst the chaos in this beautifully magnetic but melancholic track.

Who are we but pieces of an unfinished puzzle? Humberstone’s third EP, work in progress, encapsulates a journey of hope, confusion and self-discovery finally unraveled for all to hear. Amid the pain, it’s human nature to want to feel a sense of wholeness, even if you feel like you have everything under control. Yet, the truth is, we are all works in progress — Humberstone faces this truth just like the rest of us.

Keep up with Holly Humberstone: Instagram // Spotify // X // Facebook // YouTube // Website

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