You can't see if i'm not listening
You can't hear with my eyes open
-- Numb, Stuff (1997)
Holly McNarland was born in The Pas, Manitoba, Canada in 1975, and was raised in Winnipeg. At the tender age of 15, she got her hands on a guitar for the first time, and began to pursue a musical career. Within just five years, McNarland put together a slate of six angry-grrl songs, bought some studio time and recorded her EP "Sour Pie."
The timing of Sour Pie's 1995 release could not have been better planned, coming on the heels of Alanis Morissette's breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill. Morissette proved that angry women kvetching about past lovers was indeed profitable, and the brazenly-sexual songs like "Cry or Cum" and "Mr. 5 Minutes" proved attractive to labels. McNarland was signed to MCA Canada that year.
When her first full-length album, Stuff, was released in 1997, McNarland became something of a hot commodity. Both "Numb" and "Elmo" became mainstays on Canadian top 40 and alternative radio stations, as well as the music video channel MuchMusic. She toured with two concert festivals in 1998: fellow Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair and the Canadian alt-rock festival Edgefest. That year, she was nominated for three Juno Awards (Canada's equivalent to the Grammy), winning for Best New Solo Artist, but losing to Bran Van 3000's Glee for Best Alternative Album and to Moist's Gasoline for Best Video.
McNarland returned in 1999 with a live EP (with the rather unoriginal title "Live Stuff"), recorded at gigs in Toronto and Las Vegas. Aside from tracks from her previous releases, the disc is notable for its inclusion of Phil Collins' In The Air Tonight.
After Live Stuff's release, McNarland took four years off to get married (to Jay Mirus) and give birth to her son Nege. During this hiatus, McNarland recorded sporadically: singing background vocals on Limblifter's 2000 release Bellaclava, and recording snippets of songs on a mini-disc player or her answering machine. Two separate studio recording sessions led to the June 2002 release of Home Is Where My Feet Are. Two singles have been released: "Do You Get High?" (for alternative rock radio stations) and "Beautiful Blue" (for adult contemporary radio). Another track from the album, "Watching Over You" appears on the soundtrack for the Canadian movie Men With Brooms.
Home Is Where My Feet Are (2002)
Live Stuff (1999, EP)
Sour Pie (1995, EP)
AMG All Music Guide - http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Bbguvad5kt8w8
Holly McNarland - http://www.hollymcnarland.ca
Juno Awards 2002 - http://www.juno-awards.ca/main.html