Holiday Sidewinder

In the ever-evolving landscape of music, Holiday Sidewinder has carved out a niche that is uniquely her own, blending infectious pop melodies with introspective songwriting. Since her debut album, “Forever or Whatever,” we’ve been mesmerised by watching her establish herself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of music. With the release of her latest record, “The Last Resort”, Holiday invites us on a new journey, one that promises to be as enchanting as her previous work.

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Holiday to discuss the new album. Our conversation offered a glimpse into the creative process behind the album, revealing the inspirations and challenges that shaped its direction and how Kim Wilde ended up featuring on one of the songs.

First of all, how are you, and whereabouts are you right now?

I am fucking great right now. Best I’ve felt in years. I’m in Estonia. 

You’re originally from Australia, but lived the majority of the past years in different places, right? What affect does your location have on your work?

Being all over the place for the past few years, dodging visas and border closures and so on has massively impacted the way I work. For starters, we made this record mostly over email and FaceTime! I recorded and wrote all of my parts alone, and usually I like to be in the room with collaborators. The environment (Thailand and Cyprus especially) also had a huge influence on what I was writing about… I was living in these abandoned resort towns while I was writing The Last Resort. 

You’ve just released your new record – which is fantastic – if you had to chose a favourite track – which one would it be and why? 

So Paradise. It’s the most me, I love the verses and the mood. It has a bit of the existentialist punk spirit to it. Also quite pleased with getting “dimmable lights” into a chorus. 

Photo by Lisa Lovegood, Manchester 2023

What has been the most enjoyable thing with this record? 

Honestly everything about it. I have loved it from beginning to end. It’s been my life-line, my silver lining, my fantasy escape, my hope for the future… I’m not exaggerating. I have clung to every morsel of this album for dear life. 

What’s been the hardest?

Finding a way to put it out without compromising the vision and to do it justice. If I had been able to have a budget from a label there’s so much more I would have and could have done, but in a way I think I kind of thrive on limitations. 

I’ve read you’ve created the designs for the record yourself – what inspired you?

I was mid breakdown, like total vegetable back in my dads house breakdown… and an artist called Chanel Tobler had a studio around the corner I would walk over to visit while she worked… she had this painting with 3 large circles called ‘one is the way, three muddies the water’ that had a hold on me. It’s about not seeking advice and complicating things, it’s about listening to yourself, and that the answer is always within you. She encouraged me to start drawing and painting and keep pushing forward with putting the record out. Drawing became a kind of therapy for me, and additionally gave me something to work on and give me hope for getting the record out. 

The incredible Kim Wilde is featuring on the album! How did this collaboration come together?

Honestly, she was a fan of my first record Forever or Whatever and so I just bit the bullet and asked her if she would do it. She replied “singing my life with her words” and knocked out this incredible vocal within a week. 

All of your songs are utterly unique in their very own way. Could you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

It changes a lot, but for this record I had the theme and the sonic world I wanted all the songs to live in. Then my collaborator Ben would send a basic bed track (some beats and chord progressions, instrumentals) and I would write and record lyrics and melodies over the top, bit by bit, send it back to him and he would rebuild the track around the new parts. When I write lyrics, I tend to start with a song title and go from there. I like to start with a verse and write in order, but sometimes a chorus comes to me first. I just wait for the genie to inhabit me and become it’s scribe. 

Could you give us 3 women which you admire & who’s work you would like to recommend to others?

Eve Babitz, Betty Davis, Susan Cadogan.

What’s the best way people can support you?

Telling a friend xx

Thank you Holiday!

“The Last Resort” is out now – buy, stream, share – and watch the music video for ”Escape & Retreat” here.
You can also catch Holiday performing the album live in London on June 28 – tickets on sale now.