With ‘Ready as the Day’, Anna Manotti, who releases music under the moniker Hollan, has created an unabashed singer-songwriter EP with enough ambiguity and bite to keep you hooked. Though buoyant in rhythm, ‘Weakness’ comes affixed with splicing guitars and a crackling vocal that add spice on an otherwise sweet harmony, “In my dreams / Yeah, I found you in them” she sings. ‘Let Me Down’ continues in this vein, whilst also giving Manotti free reign to show off her vocals, her voice puncturing the sky, leaving onlookers in an engrossed silence as she soars in the bridge.
‘Water’, a redemptive, tender missive on growth, is the EP’s standout. The guitar is brooding, while Manotti excels in doing what all good songwriters do best, leaving gaps in the tale for listeners to thread in their own experience, “I had something to offer / When I went weightless / Into the water” she sings ambiguously. The hold on your emotion grips even harder when cantering drums and sprawling guitars arrive, transporting the track to a lofty echelon. Closer ‘Perfect Home’ has a Julien Baker-like scarcity to it, Manotti singing to just the lilt of the piano. Her vocal is airy as she questions whether a partner will continue to love her in life’s final throes. A writer capable of inciting emotion from even the most stony-faced.