“A Sense of Distance” by Holland Phillips

Album Review by New Age CD and New Age Notes Radio Staff

It’s been said that “hindsight is always 20/20.” It’s when you can see the past in the rear-view mirror that you may have a clearer picture of it, and therefore be able to better forge a path forward.

“A Sense of Distance” by award-winning, multi-instrumentalist, Holland Phillips, brilliantly gives us this perspective. Here, we are invited to let the music lead us toward our hopes and dreams, keeping our memories in mind, and allow ourselves as well to have a good sense of how far we’ve come.

“A Sense of Distance,” Holland’s 12th album release, features 10 tracks of richly layered, beautifully orchestrated, melodic, and uplifting music, that was 2 years in the making. If you listen with headphones, you are able to absorb every nuance of this wonderfully composed and performed album.

Holland grew up in a musical family. His mother was a music teacher and his father, a big band enthusiast. Holland began writing songs and playing the piano at the age of five and learned guitar shortly thereafter. Later, he explored many different genres, such as classical, rock, pop, and jazz, and throughout school he was part of plays, band, and chorus groups. He went on to graduate college with a degree in Music Composition. He has toured and shared the stage with many music legends. This album, scheduled to be released July 12, 2024, was mastered by three-time Grammy Award®-winner, Ricky Kej.

Are you familiar with Perseus in Greek mythology? Perseus was the son of Zeus and the slayer of the Gorgon Medusa as well as the rescuer of Andromeda from a sea monster. The album opens with the gorgeous and flowing “Perseus Rising,” which is a fitting opening as here we can be the hero of our own story. Everything about this piece is superb, including, but not limited to the beautiful orchestration.

Following is the intriguing, multi-layered, “Through the Rabbit Hole,” and we are off on our adventure. Great keyboards, wonderful percussion, and a sense of mystery make this amazing. “Bittersweet” incorporates some very nice lower piano register chord progressions, and again that beautiful orchestration we find throughout this album. One thing I really adore about Holland’s music is the confident ease with which he plays his instruments. That really shines through every note.

Some other highlights from the album: “Enchantments” is delightfully captivating. This tune really sticks with you. The title track with its “plucky” vibe, flowing orchestration, and percussion, is accompanied by a beautiful piano melody line. There is nothing boring or predictable here whatsoever. This is great in every regard and is definitely one for the playlist.

If I had to choose a favorite, it would be “Flying Solo,” which was released as a single from the album. The piece is amazingly evocative of just how it feels to fly in a small plane and watch the landscape spreading out beneath you. Atmospheric, expansive, and with a truly lovely melody line, the song also features Holland on flute, which is just delightful. There is a “must see” official music video for this song as well.

Sometimes, when things seem deep and dark in life, it’s when we look back through the distance that we suddenly realize that everything works out the way it’s supposed to and “Hope Remains.” This is appropriately, a darker composition, but there is always optimism to be found everywhere in Holland’s music, this piece included. I found this very emotionally stirring.

I believe “Whistlers Ridge” refers to a place in Canada in Jasper National Park. If you can’t get a sense of distance there, then you probably never will. A world beat and another great piano melody line make this truly exciting and special.

“For the Love of It.” It’s why we are here, isn’t it? This is charmingly romantic and flowing with beautiful piano chord progressions and a lovely piano melody, along with more outstanding orchestration. I find that I can’t say enough good things about this album. It’s brilliantly gorgeous all through. You certainly will want to get your own perspective.


Available as a physical CD or from your favorite digital service.

Album Releases July 12th. Pre-save here: https://shorturl.at/lsVR9

Official artist website: https://www.musicbyholland.com/

Flying Solo music video: https://youtu.be/5cJYZVJQrvc?si=Hn3wuVRxvtiDB7o0

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