Canadian native Holly McNarland, a competent singer, songwriter, and guitarist, began her recording career around 1995 with the independently recorded EP she titled Sour Pie. She was 21 at the time. The EP carries six tracks, and was completed in less than a week's time. That debut was strong enough to land McNarland a contract with MCA Canada. Many compare her emotionally dark and oftentimes angry music to that of strong female artists like Fiona Apple and Alanis Morrisette.
McNarland was born in 1975, and then raised in Winnipeg, where a friend introduced her to her first guitar when she was 15. After learning a few chords, she began composing her own tunes and lyrics. Soon she was entering talent contests where she learned to perform on stage in front of a live audience. It gave her a place to perfect her talents, and to gain confidence. Her next step in the music world was landing singing gigs when and where she could. At that time, most of her income was made from a waitressing job.
In 1995, McNarland took a few 1,000 dollars and bought enough studio time to record her debut EP, Sour Pie. The songs of this first offering resulted in a deal with MCA Canada, and the EP was re-released under that label in 1996. The next year a sophomore album, Stuff, appeared on the market. The press responded with mostly positive reviews. Live Stuff was released two years later. Even before the year 2000 arrived, McNarland had captured a large following in both her Canadian homeland, and across the border in the United States.
Along with her recordings, McNarland spends a lot of time on the road, touring. Her band is made up of guitarist James Junger, bassist Mark Pullyblank, and drummer Chris Gorst. Some of the less-than-joyful tunes fans can sample from McNarland's works include "Numb," "Cry or C*m," "Sick Boy," "I Won't Stay," "The Box," "Stormy," and "Dad & I." ~ Charlotte Dillon