From her forthcoming album of the same name, Melbourne singer-songwriter Freya Josephine Hollick has released ‘The Real World’, and yet again she has produced a mesmerising, unforgettable track. Hollick’s music sounds utterly contemporary yet also otherworldly in the sense that she has reached through time and space, perhaps from the past or from the future. That sense is only heightened with the lyrics on this song, which talk of the real world dying – ‘have you seen her burning sands?’ sings Hollick, and ‘the sky has turned to fire’.
‘I wrote this song three years ago,’ says Hollick, ‘but it seems more poignant now than ever, after last summer’s fires, and a world swept by an illness it can’t outrun. It was intended as a gentle reminder to be kind to our own habitat, and to remind us we are fallible. We cut off our noses to spite our face. We need to un-f**k ourselves.’
The steel guitar accompanying Hollick on the track is haunting, but her voice and her piercing authenticity are, as ever, the stars. They make it possible for this apocalyptic song to sound almost like a lullaby, with Hollick singing us into a sleep that gives us the chance to dream of a better way to do things, then to wake up and do them.