[Editor’s Note: Sonata Sessions are produced independent of HearNebraska.org by Nickolai Hammar, and we’re proud to premiere them. Enjoy.]
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You can innumerate the differences between his 2010-11 folk project South of Lincoln and the Max Holmquist of today. Tone, genre, the quiet viciousness. They’ve all changed.
The one this video seems to foreground is that Holmquist’s singing voice has matured into something malleable. The songwriter and Oquoa bandleader is still capable of belting it as he did on South of Lincoln’s only album, Homes. But the timbre is somehow both thinner and steadier these days. In “Same Way,” Holmquist coos almost entirely in his head voice, as though the song were a musing or he was still writing it.
And that’s a perfect microcosm for how Holmquist the musician outwardly appears to operate these days — a dabbler in acoustic and electric guitars, self-releasing a terrifically produced LP very suddenly, first and foremost a songwriter, who’s always given listeners phrases to really chew on. What does “It’s what you lost that remains…” mean? Think it over.
Holmquist plays tonight at O’Leaver’s with Zachary Lucky and Small Houses. RSVP here.