After journeying across the country and across the Atlantic, local musician Hollan has arrived home to Pennsylvania with her debut EP, “Ready as the Day.”
Hollan, known offstage as Anna Manotti, is a 23-year-old native of the Harrisburg area. While she has spent time living in California and Germany, her love of Pennsylvania seeps through as she discusses the local music scene that has had a heavy influence on her songwriting, in addition to artists such as Feist and Bea Troxel.
Hollan always knew she wanted to be a musician and describes her music as singer-songwriter indie-folk, stemming from an “aha” moment at the age of 15, when she first discovered folk artists such as John Denver.
“I didn’t know folk music existed, but when I heard it, I knew it was exactly the kind of music I’d always wanted to hear and make,” she said.
“Ready as the Day,”comprised of four self-written songs, was released in early October. Lyrically focused, the songs trail the transition from adolescence to young adulthood, but they’re deeper than a coming-of-age story. Together, they’re a reckoning of identity, shaped through many different places and personal relationships. The title itself seeks to bridge the songs together as they were written over the course of several years, and she now feels ready to share them with the world.
“Water,” one of the new tracks on the EP, was written from a place of loneliness and introspection when Manotti first moved home from Germany.
“The song is about going back into different times in my life and remembering who I was in those moments,” she said. “It’s the song that has had the most impact on people, which, in turn, made me feel less alone. It’s a really important song to me.”
The recording process took place in a studio in northern California, where she worked closely with emerging producer Justin Grimaldo and a handful of musicians to bring the EP to life. Grimaldo and Manotti each spoke to their creative collaboration and momentum throughout the process.
“Anna’s songs each stand on their own, and that is all one could ever hope for in writing timeless pieces,” Grimaldo said.
In addition to her solo work as Hollan, Manotti is pursuing collaborative projects with other Pennsylvania musicians. Her vocals appear on fellow Pennsylvania musician Zach Wood’s song, “Rain Down,” which has more than 40,000 hits on YouTube.
Manotti is looking forward to expanding her reach. While her dreams stretch as far as the stage at Red Rocks, she is confident that central PA is a great place to grow due to its own ever-evolving music scene and proximity to the bigger East Coast cities.
“I’m at a place with my music career where I’m really ready to get out there,” she said, with an eager smile. “I feel like I’m exploding inside.”
“Ready as the Day” is available to stream. For updates and upcoming shows, visit www.hollanmusic.com and follow on Facebook and Instagram @hollanthemusician.