Holly Arrowsmith was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico to an American Father and New Zealand born Mother. Her family owned ‘Arrowsmith’s Relics of the Old West’, a gallery that welcomed passersby such as Patti Smith and Johnny Cash into their Native American and Cowboy art collection. When her family moved to New Zealand in the late
1990’s, they brought their South Western flare with them. Growing up near Arrowtown in the picturesque Wakatipu Basin, these two very different cultural identities are woven through Holly’s music. A gentle hand of Country and Folk storytelling, and a deep reverence for New Zealand landscape create a grounded sense of place in these songs- enough so to transport the listener into her world.
Touring since the age of nineteen, Arrowsmith has earned her place as one of the forerunners in New Zealand's current Folk revivalist movement. Now at twenty five, she has toured both hemispheres and supported artists such as Sixto Rodriguez, Willie Watson, CW Stoneking, Jessica Pratt, Nadia Reid and Tiny Ruins. She was Awarded the TUI for ‘Folk Album of 2016’ for her debut record ‘A Dawn I Remember’, and APRA ‘Country Song of the Year’ 2019 for the powerful track ‘Slow Train Creek’, penned in the Rockies of Colorado.
'A Dawn I Remember' Arrowsmith's second full length album was crowdfunded and released June 22nd 2018 to critical acclaim, recorded between a cottage on the remote Southern Coast and The Sitting Room recording studio in Lyttelton, New Zealand with renowned producer Ben Edwards.
Holly is currently writing her third record in Canterbury, New Zealand and booking a November 2019 Tour of Australia.
'This is by far Holly Arrowsmith's best work to date. She has crafted an evocative ’big sky’ album that acknowledges and honours its influences without wasting too much time being reverential. Over this whole collection there is a fine musical sensibility, with melodic and lyrical strength, sensitive and intelligent arrangement /production, and clear creative vision. It is music that draws you back for another listen and offers fresh reward every time.'
'These are strong, considered and finely focused songs about the seasons of life and emotional place, and come with a genuinely poetic turn of phrase'
/Graham Reid, Elsewhere
'There's a trio of female singers who come to mind while listening to A Dawn to Remember: think early Joan Baez or the superstar voices of Joni Mitchell and Emmy Lou Harris.'
***** FIVE STARS, Otago Daily Times
“The album takes it’s title from the great Sufi mystic poet Rumi and there are layers of meaning in her songs....In their intimacy and honesty, they sparkle and energise- there is a subtle interchange of goodwill and self-honouring that reminds us that unless we accept all aspects of ourselves, we’ll never mature..'