ALBUM: Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’

Tentative, pensive and poetic, Fenne Lily has the ability to bruise and heal her listeners all within the space of a single track. Raised in Dorset and now based in Bristol, her debut album On Hold is a beautiful collection of soft, yet seething guitar ballads that strike the heartstrings in a brutal, yet beautiful fashion.

Wary of being “pigeon-holed” after her over-night Spotify success with self-released single ‘Top To Toe’ a few years ago, it’s clear from opening track ‘Car Park’ that Fenne is self-aware when it comes to her songwriting style. “I’ll be the first to admit that my songs are far from uplifting,” she explains, “but while ‘Car Park’ chronicles yet another period of false hope and turmoil, it was written following the realisation that damaging patterns are enabled and suffered by the passive. I cannot and will not blame my heartache on anyone but myself, so this isn’t a song about pain, it’s a song about power.”

It’s this quiet “power” that permeates her record, so even in moments of genuine sadness there’s a sense of relief accompanying many of her tracks. ‘Three Oh Nine’ may ache with desperation, but her brave revelations about fearing abandonment make it a therapeutic listen – “it’s a first for me, it’s a pain I need.”

The urgent and quietly consuming ‘What’s Good’ extends a somber but beautiful invitation for connection, and it flows wonderfully into the heavy grace of ‘The Hand You Deal’. The gentle nod to learned experience from others on ‘More Than You Know’ is pure and compassionate and this is mirrored in her simple acoustic guitar sounds.

Title-track ‘On Hold’ is a grateful ode to small acts of kindness, whilst ‘Top To Toe’ documents the seemingly inevitable changes you start to make when mixed feelings start to appear – “So I’m changing all my days to make your nights / it’s just not right.” The light, refreshing honesty of ‘Bud’ follows, with the charming ‘Brother’ behind it, before the penultimate ‘For A While’ opens more tender romantic wounds. ‘Car Park Overflow’ bookends this melancholy but hopeful record.

With the aid of producers Tamu Massif, James Thorpe, PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, and the mixing skills of Ali Chant, Fenne Lily’s debut album is set of delicate but passionate laments about the pain and the clarity that comes with falling in and out of love with others, and trying to be kind to yourself. Don’t put it On Hold, invest in her music immediately.

On Hold is available online and in stores now. Order your copy here.

Catch Fenne Lily live at London’s Moth Club on April 10th (tickets here).

Follow Fenne Lily on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Hollie Fernando

Kate Crudgington

WATCH: Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’

If you’re a firm believer in small acts of kindness, then Fenne Lily‘s new video for ‘On Hold’ is going to brighten up your day. It’s the title track from her upcoming debut album which is set for release on 16th April, and the accompanying visuals are as sweet as Lily’s own vocals.

“‘On Hold’ was written as a thank you for the warmth of the world when I was at my lowest, and I wanted the video that accompanied it to be a raw representation of this gratitude,” Lily explains about the visuals. “Being nice is underrated. It makes me smile to watch, and dorky as it is, I feel this video communicates a joy that often goes untold.” The video is a self-directed, DIY project which shows Lily roller-skating around London handing out roses, captured by her friend following behind her on a skateboard with a camera.

“Dorky” or not, we love it. Watch the video for ‘On Hold’ below, and check out her UK tour dates below. Tickets are available here.

Fenne Lily Live Dates 2018

6th Apr – Cardiff – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
7th Apr – Southampton – Heartbreakers
9th Apr – Brighton – Hope & Ruin
10th Apr – London – Moth Club
11th Apr – Manchester – Soup Kitchen
12th Apr – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
13th Apr – Glasgow – Stereo
15th Apr – Dublin – The Sound House
16th Apr – Birmingham – The Cuban Embassy
17th Apr – Bristol – Thekla

Pre-order your copy of On Hold here.

Follow Fenne Lily on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

LIVE: Fenne Lily – The Islington, London 31.01.18

Fenne Lily‘s understated, soft, yet seething lyrics captivated her sold out crowd at The Islington on Wednesday night, and we were impressed by her tentative voice and startling self-awareness. Whilst persistent sound issues kept taking listeners out of the moment, Fenne Lily managed to bring them back into it with a combination of perfect vocals and self-deprecating humour.

Whilst her songs often ring with sadness and pain, her not-so-PG stories – including one about a guy who ruined Back To The Future for her by asking for a blow job – make her live performances a real joy to witness.

Accompanied by her bassist and drummer for the majority of her set, she effortlessly performed singles ‘What’s Good’, ‘Bud’ and ‘On Hold’ as well as delivering a poignant solo rendition of track ‘Brother’. She performed the tear-inducing ‘Three Oh Nine’ in her trademark modest, stunning style and even in her sleep-deprived state – she’d spent almost a solid 24 hours hand-painting tote bags for the merch stand – she’s a beguiling, beautiful performer.

We recommend you catch her now, before she inevitably becomes uncatchable.

Support came from Oxford group Be Good, who won the crowd over with their indie-pop sounds and hap-hazard charm.

Fenne Lily’s debut album On Hold will be released on 6th April. Pre-order it here.

Kate Crudgington