Holly Humberstone Releases "Sleep Tight" While Hitting the Road with Olivia Rodrigo

Holly Humberstone has been taking over the indie pop scene lately. I fell for her music last fall when Spotify first played me her song "Vanilla" off her first EP. The British singer-songwriter cultivates the perfect quiet, blurry nostalgia songs that transport listeners into tiny, specific moments. More than anything, she delivers individual doses of feelings in three minute packages. Following her November 2021 EP, the brilliant The Walls Are Way Too Thin, she's been releasing a series of singles that continue the story. "Sleep Tight" comes on the heels of "London Is Lonely" and a Prince cover, "I Would Die 4 U". 

Holly has stayed true to a pretty consistent sonic motif in her work even as she's begun working in more pop influenced nods as her star has started to rise. Her lyricism is unique and precise, and the instrumentals always create the perfect, rainy sonic smear of sound. "Sleep Tight" is no exception as Holly creates a dopamine-filled chorus about returning to an exact moment of euphoria after losing her grip on a relationship. The mix of contemplative drums and guitars that add texture to her sonic wash accents the gorgeous vocal melody. 

In the first verse, she introduces a repeating line that this fragile relationship she's leaving is the, "the best thing I never knew I had." On "Sleep Tight" she sings about falling for a friend and being totally unsure about crossing the lines of the friendship to take it to a new place. She knows that it's a choice that's hard to take back, and those anxieties spill over in the pre chorus as she sings, "And, oh my god, I've done it again / I almost killed our friendship and I sure hope it's worth it / I got all this stuff boiling up / Cause I got drunk and said too much / I'm running in circles and now we're -"

In this moment, the song shifts from worried to free and floating. Returning to a familiar place while going down a totally new road, she narrates this momentary shift that changes everything. "In the back of your car, we're taking it too far / God I've missed this, I've missed this feeling / You take off your jeans and my heart started screaming / God knows I've missed this feeling," she echoes out the chorus. Her vocals float light and airy. This chorus immediately reminded me of early 2000s pop somewhere adjacent to Avril Lavigne. 

In the next verse, she alters her original statement, saying "You were the best thing I never knew is mine" bringing this connection into the present tense, even if just for a second. She's found her way back to a relationship that she had lingering regrets of losing. In the next pre chorus, she starts to spiral wondering if her admission and their reconnection in the chorus will be worth it in the long run. "And, oh my god, I can't believe / Everything was working out for me / Well, I sure hope we're worth it," she sings. That doubt of good things is an all too familiar feeling. Still, even in this doubt, there's a background vocal that affirms, "We're worth it."

Still, in the bridge, Holly reverts to saying "you were the best thing I never knew I had," affirming that even this triumphant reconnection doesn't last in the long run. Somehow, this realization still can't take away from the soaring feeling in the chorus.

With Holly just coming off of two weekends of Coachella and joining the North American leg of Olivia Rodrigo's massive Sour Tour at Radio City Music Hall, Holly's rising star will only start catapulting farther. If you're a fan of Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Gracie Abrams, or Maisie Peters, give Holly Humberstone your ears.


More on Music, Musings, and Me

Breaking Down the Harry's House Track List

Everything You Need to Know About the Sour Tour Bus

The Many Brands of Olivia Rodrigo

Comments