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Premiere: Christine Sweeney - 'Denial'

By Jof Owen

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As Christine Sweeney prepares to release her new seven-track album, Heart In A Hurry, she gives us a taste of what to expect with ‘Denial’, a honey-hooked character study of relationships as they fall apart and the coping mechanisms we often use to negotiate the fall out. “You’re in denial”, she sings, before adding forebodingly, “but that’s fine, for a while”.

”Being in denial can hold you back from moving forward, confronting issues and reimagining your goals and dreams when they don’t work out”, Sweeney explained about the song. “But it can also feel like you’re protecting yourself, just for a moment, when you’re not ready yet to do those things. Left too long in this state, it has a negative effect. Avoidance and procrastination is sometimes what we use to hide from the thing that in the end, we should or must do”.

“This is a theme for me and my life, and I’m always trying to break this cycle. But I wrote this song from the perspective of characters and tried to focus on the thing that they were avoiding, either consciously or subconsciously”.

As for the writing, Sweeney told us: “This was an earlier song of mine, and I was inexperienced in the art of doing something even though it produced anxiety. In the end, I’ve found for myself, usually the thing isn’t as scary as my brain pretended it was. I’ve always wanted to record it with a full band. It’s gone through many different ‘arrangement personalities’ and I’m glad to have found this one”.

‘Denial’ is exclusively premiering at Holler below.

The driving country-tinged power pop of ‘Denial’ is reminiscent of early Lucinda Williams or Kathy Mattea, with a little of the West Coast nonchalance of The Bangles and melodic touch of prime-time Tom Petty thrown in to the mix. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to wind down the car windows and sing along at the top of your voice.

Sweeney crafted Heart In a Hurry with long-time collaborators Sam Kantor singing harmony, guitarist Dave Ferro, Mike Leuci on drums and consulting producer Matt Einsidler. Holler favourite Pete Mancini also contributed guitar parts to several tracks. It’s the next exciting chapter in the career of one of folk country’s most entrancing new voices and should find her featuring in more than a few end of year lists come December.

Heart In A Hurry is out now and available to listen to here