One of Australia’s emerging pop talents, Forster’s Holly Rankin, has been acknowledge for her work after receiving three nominations at the year’s Aria Awards.
Under her alias, Jack River, Holly’s debut album Sugar Mountain – released in June – will line-up up against 5 Seconds of Summer, Amy Shark, Dean Lewis and Alex Lahey in the Breakthrough Artist and Best Pop Release categories.
"It’s very big – I feel so honoured to be for my first album,” Holly said.
Holly was also nominated for engineer for the year but missed out to Burke Reid for Courtney Barnett’s Tell Me How You Really Feel album earlier this month.
The awards will be held on Wednesday, November 28.
Sugar Mountain follows Holly’s emotional journey after the death of her sister in 2006.
“People have experienced how hard the past few years have been for my family,” Holly said.
“I was going through some dark times but I persisted to finish the album and personally find the beauty through the darkness.
“I wanted to show my family that it’s not all darkness, sadness and loss.”
Holly’s album connected with fans on a personal level, with many reaching out to her to share their own personal stories.
“It’s really special,” Holly said.
With a “global pop” sound laced with alternative and rock elements, Holly poured her heart and soul into the record.
“I made it in my bedroom and my friend’s bedroom,” Holly said.
Holly took her album on the road in September as part of a sold out national tour.
The tour took Holly to Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Newcastle, Sydney and Brisbane.
The feeling of playing to 800 people at the Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle was a surreal feeling.
“It was amazing playing so close to Forster,” Holly said.
Holly has released several music videos following the release of the album.
Her latest, Confess, has a wedding theme featuring real footage from weddings.
“A shout out to Leanne and Michael Yarad from Forster for using some of their footage,” Holly said.
Just to add to her busy schedule, Holly will take to the stage at Canberra’s Spilt Milk festival, support Gang of Youths at ‘A More Perfect Union’ in Brisbane before the Falls Festival over New Year.
Then she’ll be back in the Great Lakes to direct and perform at January’s Grow Your Own festival in Tuncurry.
“I’ll play lots of dates next year but Grow Your Own will be my only one the East Coast for a while,” Holly said.
“I’m really stoked and excited to come back home to play.”
Holly will take to the stage with some of Australia’s biggest bands such as DMA’s, Hockey Dad and The Preatures.
“We’re working with the team from Splendour in the Grass so there’s lots of hard work going into it.”
“I hope people are getting excited,” Holly said.
Forster’s Belle Badi will make one her first live performances at the festival.
Fellow Great Lakes act Mild West will also take to the stage.
Holly is proud to showcase some of the best female performers in the country at the festival.
“Young women in the area will be able to see their role models,” Holly said.
“It’s my personal passion.”
Holly takes particular care in her songwriting and rates Neil Young as a songwriting influence.
“I want my songs to be lyrically great,” Holly said
For her sound, Holly channels Gwen Stefani, Courtney Love, Florence and the Machine, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift.
Holly travelled to Sydney earlier this month to watch Swift in concert.
“She’s a pop mastermind,” Holly said.
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