Hollyy Gives Audiences a Soulful Interlude on Audiotree Live

By Kylie Richards

Every concert fanatic currently feels deprived of the comforting sounds of melodic chords in a crowded, echoing venue. Chicago music organization, Audiotree, is working to bring back that fleeting joy through live streamed concerts where artists are able to perform and share their music through a safe space during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every week, there are a variety of live streams available for audience members to tune into and enjoy. 

On Wednesday, February 10th, Chicago-based band, Hollyy, took the stage at Audiotree for a live performance. Previously compared to icons like Leon Bridges and Donny Hathaway, this multifaceted group incorporates the talents of five members: Tanner Bednar (Vocals), Brandon Couture (Guitar), Pete Giere (Keyboard), Rafael Soto (Drums), and Dominic Zeier (Bass). While listening to this group perform, it is obvious that the elevated level of expertise  possessed by all members truly contributes to making this band stand out. 

The band kicked off their 30-minute set with the song, “Talkin’ Bout My Baby,” from their debut EP, Letters From Lawndale. This song’s jazzy and high-energy beat was a perfect opener to set up Hollyy for a lively show. Bednar came out of the gate effortlessly nailing each high note as the band accompanied his passionate voice with every beat. The feel-good nature of this song was enough to make the audience groove from their couches at home. 

Following the dynamic opener came, “Sailing,” an easy and relaxing song that drew audience members in even more. The mellow lyrics and sound left the audience with a dreamlike feeling. Giere stood out on this number with an angelic keyboard solo. This number smoothly transitioned to the emotional song, “Miss The Feeling,” which also holds the title as the namesake for their September 2020 EP. “Miss The Feeling,” written by Bednar, combined rich and deep sounds that were complimented wonderfully by background harmonies. 

The final three songs in the Audiotree live stream also came from the band’s 2020 EP, Miss The Feeling. “Beach,” a fan favorite, combined earthy tones with organic guitar solos from Couture, whose powerful skill on the instrument highlighted nearly every number. The next song, an upbeat number, “Wondering Why,” generated the perfect addition to this setlist by showcasing the band’s classic ‘garage soul’ sound. It helped build up the overall energy of the show by bringing in a faster tempo towards the end of the performance. Hollyy concluded their show with “Nobody Loves Me (Like You Do).” This emotional and heartfelt song incorporated the classic elements of soul music with a modern feel. The steady, heavy beat allowed for the passionate components of this song to emerge easily. 

The Audiotree livestream provided a raw and unfiltered look at Hollyy with the absence of a live audience. They fed off each other’s energy and talents to create an impactful and passionate show through a computer screen, which is no easy feat. 

Hollyy released their debut EP in September 2018, and according to the band’s website, they are currently working towards the completion of their first album. During Hollyy’s Audiotree live stream, they advised fans to be on the lookout for new music within the upcoming week. You can  check out their Audiotree performance from February 10th, 2021 here, and support Hollyy’s Bandcamp here.

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