“Just breathe and breathe once again,” sings Chad Hollister during his latest tune, “Breathe.” It’s a lovely little song that can lift your spirits on a bad day. In fact, I was having a bad day after discovering that I accidentally installed Malware with a Chrome or Firefox extension yesterday. This really freaked me out because I had a lot of music that I hadn’t backed up on an external drive yet and this particular Malware can damage your harddrive and stuff. So, I had to rush out and use my only for serious emergencies credit card for the first time. And you have no idea how much I hate credit cards. But that’s a long story I won’t bore you with. The point is that today has been incredibly frustrating for me. So, when I received an e-mail from Chad’s publicist that compared him to Jack Johnson and the Dave Matthews Band, well, my instinct was to ignore it. Because, honestly, I can’t stand Jack Johnson or Dave Matthews Band. And I can’t tell you why because in order to do that I would have to actually listen to their music again and try to pinpoint what I don’t like about it. And I don’t want to listen to it again, especially right now, because this day is cursed, man. But, guess what? I did decide to listen to Chad’s song. His publicist says that it “gently encourages listeners to overcome obstacles and persevere.” I thought, well, maybe this song will rub me the right way if I listen to it on this awful day. And, well, it was like a breath of fresh air when I could barely breathe. Well, actually, my problem was not breathing, my problem was that I had a major panic attack. But listening to “Breathe” over and over again helped calm me down. Suffice to say that I’d highly recommend this song to anyone who’s feeling frustrated about anything. Just listen to it and take in the melody, absorb the words, and get mellow. Enjoy that cello, too. It’s quite lovely and I should give credit to Cameron Stone for that.
I suppose you also want to know if I’d compare Chad to Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews or John Mayer. The answer? No. I would not. To my ears, he’s more of a singer/songwriter in the vein of Joshua Radin. He also reminds me of some of Butch Walker’s stuff, especially Walker’s new EP, Peachtree Battle, which is fantastic. He has shades of Ben Lee, too. Unfortunately, these three guys aren’t nearly as popular as John Mayer and company, so it probably doesn’t make much sense to compare him to them, but, damn it, I think he’d actually have a larger audience if they did. In fact, Butch Walker has a very strong, loyal fanbase. And they seem to embrace artists who Butch praises. So, my unsolicited advice would be to tweet Butch Walker and ask him to listen to one of your songs and give you some feedback. You might have to ask a few times before he sees your tweet and responds because he gets one tweet every minute if not more often, I guesstimate. But I think Butch would give you high praise if he heard “Breathe” or “Fall.”