By Nicholas Jason Lopez
On Apr. 24, 2020, Vancouver dark-folk rock band Hollow Twin released their single “Before I Leave,” which was lyrically based on a story where one has feelings for someone, but fails to express themselves about it and keeps it bottled up inside before they consciously decide to let it go.
“Before I Leave” was recorded by producer Colin Stewart (Yukon Blonde, Dan Mangan, Kathryn Calder, The New Pornographers) in his Vancouver Island studio and was written, performed and co-produced by members Emmalee Watts and Becky Wosk, who also created the music video.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the duo about the single, video and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Vancouver to someone who has never been there before?
Becky Wosk – It’s hard for me to describe because I was born here and have lived here almost my entire life. It’s difficult to take a step back. It’s obviously known for its natural beauty.
Emmalee Watts – I was raised in the Fraser Valley, so I didn’t spend much time in Vancouver until I moved there in my late teens. It is definitely a beautiful coastal city. What I really like is how some parts of it have “big city” vibes while other parts have “small town,” cozy vibes.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of genre?
Becky Wosk – We mix so many genres together and don’t box ourselves into just one. We can experiment with different influences and sounds.
Emmalee Watts – I like that we have developed our own sort of genre out of a few different genres. We draw our inspiration from a variety of artists and sound.
Music Bugle – How do you feel your single “Before I Leave” has been received?
Becky Wosk – We are trying to put less emphasis on how something is received. We do love to hear feedback and are super grateful to be added to playlists and blogs though! We are trying to focus on just being authentic and making sure our music is true to us. If it reaches people and they connect with it, that’s so lovely. We love that.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder to stand out as a band?
Becky Wosk – There are a ton of musicians on social media, which could seem like a challenge. I think finding your voice and your space online is important. Being authentic is more important than trying to “stand out.” We never want to force ourselves on anyone. We want our music and our message to speak for itself. There’s value in everyone and space for all of us to succeed.
Music Bugle – What was the hardest song for you to write?
Becky Wosk – I don’t think any one is harder than another. If something feels forced, we table it or scrap it. We know when a song flows out of us, it’s usually a keeper. Emotionally, they all come from different places, but facing those feelings is not difficult for us. We like to dwell in the shadowy parts of life sometimes. Expressing it through music is cathartic.
Music Bugle – What do you hope to accomplish within the next year?
Becky Wosk – We will be completing our next album, hopefully creating another music video and releasing our next single.
Music Bugle – How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
Becky Wosk – Well, a lot more time at home. We haven’t had as much time to work together on our music, but recently, we’ve found ways to do it at a distance. It’s been a time of reflection for me.
Emmalee Watts – It luckily hasn’t affected our ability to write. However, it has been difficult to bring our ideas together without being able to be together in person and technology can only get you so far with creative processes like that.
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose?
Becky Wosk – My first thought was Stevie Nicks, I admire her so much. I would love to ask her about her life and experiences and songwriting.
Emmalee Watts – I would ask Jimmy Page to teach me how to play the Mandolin.
Music Bugle – How did you decide the name Hollow Twin?
Becky Wosk – A few years ago, we were at the airport in Montreal waiting for a flight home and we knew we had to change our band name because our previous name was too difficult for people to pronounce. We wanted it to have a haunting feel, but also something meaningful. Hollow is a synonym of “valley.” Em and I have deep roots in the Fraser Valley. Twin came from our very strong bond. We have always felt like we knew each other for longer than we have, like maybe we were twins in a past life.
Music Bugle – What’s something people should know about the band?
Becky Wosk – I think everything anyone needs to know about us is in our songs.