“Subtle and Heartfelt” - CBC Music
"Expertly crafted..." - Exclaim
"Hol crafts her lyrics cleverly and with care, adding little twists to a song’s construction and splashes of colour and mood.”
- Penguin Eggs
Lydia Hol's music leaves you with the taste of salt on your lips, and the feeling of the wind in your hair. Since the release of her debut EP, Boats, in 2012, Lydia Hol has toured the country from coast to coast, filling rooms with her songs and stories. Lydia’s time spent living in Ireland flavors her performances with a storyteller’s honesty and charm, and her studies in English Literature has helped to shape her songwriting into an insightful, and mature art. Sharing the stage with folk legends such as Sylvia Tyson, Dar Williams, and Shari Ulrich as she did this past year, has further encouraged Hol’s place as one of Canada’s most dynamic young artists.
In 2013 Lydia was a Top 20 Finalist in the Peak Performance Project, and a Regional Finalist in CBC’s Searchlight Contest. In 2014 she showcased in Toronto and Kansas City, was the Featured Musician at The Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards, and curated the Acoustic Guitar Project.
The writing and recording of ‘Heading North’ was the focus of 2015, recorded at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver. But whereas ‘Boats’ was very much a solitary, stationary effort – that of a young artist writing in her quaint cabin on the Pacific coast – Heading North is a more communal collection. The arrangements on this record are more lush and elaborate than those on its predecessor, thanks in large part to a top-tier cast of supporting players. The list is a long one, featuring the likes of Jesse Zubot (violin), Paul Rigby (guitar, steel), and John Raham (drums/engineering) Many of the musicians are on loan from Be Good Tanyas frontwoman Frazey Ford, and helped bring that welcome collective spirit to the album.
At their core these are Hol’s songs, and embody her essence as a musician and lyricist. On both fronts, the album captures the essence of femininity through a delicate, elegant take on folk – simultaneously subtle and sultry; sometimes vulnerable, other times tenacious. Her voice and guitar anchor a host of tasteful instrumentation that evokes a range of tones from country to classical and beyond.
“The north is really the last frontier, the last unknown,” Hol muses, speaking to the themes of exploration and risk-taking threaded through these nine songs. The title track is about “throwing the tethers off and finding strength,” about moving forward into something bigger than oneself. Hol is a life long student of literature and skilled wordsmith; some of the stories shared on Heading North are her own; others are borrowed. “Mistress of the Track,” tells the tragic story of Canadian jockey Ron Turcotte, and “Loneliest Word” is based on a Wordsworth poem
Lydia’s communal spirit reaches beyond her own music, and into the broader music world as well. She is passionate about promoting songwriting and community, annually curating the Vancouver Acoustic Guitar Project, and participating in the House of Songs project.
Traeden Folk Festival – Denmark (2017)
Tour of Germany (2017)
Live at Heart Festival – Sweden (2016)
Songwriting Residency at BD Pop – Sweden (2016)
Songwriting Residence at House of Songs – Austin, TX (2016)
Banff Centre Artist in Residency (2016)
Bluebird North Selected Songwriter (2016)
Rogue Folk Club (2016)
Mission Folk Festival (2015)
Peak Performance Project (2013)
Khatsalano Festival (2013)
Folk Alliance (Kansas City, 2016)
NERFA (New York, 2015)
Folk Music Ontario (Toronto, 2015)
Folk Alliance (Kansas City, 2014)
CMW (Toronto, 2014)
Heading North (Album 2016)
This Fire (Single 2013)
Bitter Heart (Single 2013)
Boats (EP 2012)