Categorized | Press


Craft Savvy Criminal Reviews:

With her début release, Claire Hollingsworth, bandleader at Brunswick’s School on the Hill, follows on from her two EPs with a gently sparkling ode to deviations from normalcy. This is a small album both in tone, ambition and running time, though it’s no less wonderful for its intimacy, a sense that fits perfectly with the production and packaging.

I come to you in sleep / guided by the lighthouse that you keep” Hollingsworth gently intones as the album unfolds. Many songs herein are quiet and thoughtful turns, served well by the treatment they’re given. Roping in Andrew Wright to produce and percuss, Craft Savvy Criminal has been given an ideal midwife. The album is a lovingly made collection of songs, and, as the cover art so clearly suggests, one heedless of fashion or current trends. Hollingsworth has a voice it’s difficult to imagine inhabiting any other genre, so well matched to a gently strummed acoustic guitar, sparse piano and quiet reflections that seduce as they celebrate. Odes to a stolen laptop (Dear Junkies) and her hometown (Fremantle) rub shoulders with the darkly fragile and lonely Four Walls while the whole thing sounds as though it couldn’t have come from anywhere else in the world than Melbourne.

Hollingsworth’s talent for constructing and arranging a song is greater than her subjects, which are more commonly musings that become compelling through her rendering. It’s easy to feel you know her given the sincerity and warmth inhabiting every second and it’s a testament to the musicians involved that the performances are top notch and arrangements sensitive. Possibly the finest songs on the album Mirror Mirror and Faux Serial Killersees Hollingsworth empower her songs with uplifting vocal and string arrangements which suggest that when she’s ready to broaden her palette, the results will be wonderful indeed. As it is, Craft Savvy Criminal is a record to seek and treasure.

– A. Hazel, Inpress, 2010

“…Craft Savvy Criminal (of which I was lucky enough to snatch a copy away pre-release) represents all that she is about perfectly: an uneffected Aussie sweatpea who also has a wicked, but somehow innocent, sense of humour”

Bianca O’Neill, Feb 2010 (see full post)

Live Reviews:

Craft Savvy Criminal Album Launch, Perth (19/09/2010):

“… Finally, the woman of the moment, Claire Hollingsworth, took to the stage with aplomb to officially launch her debut album, Craft Savvy Criminal. Her songs are whimsical but not lightweight, clever but not obnoxious and posses the qualities that best define contemporary folk music: sweet, irreverent revelation.
Crushes were formed on Melbourne dance musician Muscles, a couple fell in love in a dingy karaoke bar, and grocery items were shoplifted in an endearing style that still allowed for some profound interpretation of the events described. A second album, and another homecoming tour, would be welcome soon”.

– Wired Magazine, 2010

“oddly sweet…all up a great collection of simple, often funny, acoustic songs”

– Faster Louder, Dec 2009 (see full review)

She stands atop the theatrette-style stage playing songs full of quirk and oddity…There’s something about her you can’t help but like – her awkward stage banter is endearing, her voice sweet, and songs infused with edgy appeal

– The Dwarf, Dec 2009 (see full review)