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Sydney-based singer-songwriter Hollie Col shares the inspirations behind her ‘Julia Stevens’ video series

We pick the hottest new acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. Meet Sydney-based singer-songwriter Hollie Col on her new EP 'Julia Stevens'.

Sydney-based multi-disciplinary singer-songwriter Hollie Col has a real knack for exploring the highs and lows of relationships, love, life, and heartache from every perspective.

And that is exactly what she has done on her new EP – and accompanying video series – Julia Stevens.

Across its seven tracks, Col takes her songwriting to a whole new level – the honest, vulnerability in her lyricism still shines, as does the bright, infectious melodies in her anthemic, guitar-infused pop sound. But here, when bundled with a shimmering ‘70s influence and wrapped around her Taylor Swift-esque narrative love story, the gut punches hit even harder.

While Hollie Col pulls from moments of falling in and out of love across her life, here she brings each moment together into one story, the EP detailing a single relationship – a romantic rollercoaster that takes you through the highs, lows, and emotions of it all. And Julia Stevens is the fictional representation of all those experiences.

The Julia Stevens EP sees Col unapologetically basking in the honesty of her sexuality, and leaning into the vulnerability of bold and beautiful love. Her passion for, and commitment to, elevating LGBT stories comes from her own experiences growing up. “In everything I do, I want to champion self-expression and celebration. I want to give young people the representation I always craved,” she says.

Hollie Col has taken the release of her EP to a whole new level with the Julia Stevens Series. Across eight instalments – culminating in a nearly nine-minute, short film-esque finale featuring ‘Julia’, a bonus track called ‘Lightning’, and multiple extended dialogue scenes – Hollie Col brings the Julia Stevens love story to life, complete with expertly selected locations, costumes, props, and more to ensure this ‘70s love story feels as authentic as the music and storytelling does.

Col first burst on to the scene in 2017 with her debut single ‘Warm Heart’ – a charmingly delicate folk-pop number that laid the initial foundations for what was to come on her debut EP Hazel, released in 2018.

With every subsequent single, Col has further developed her guitar-led indie-pop sound, honing her songwriting and cementing herself as one of the most exciting artists coming out of Australia.

I wrote this EP over the course of three years, with each song time-capsuling a particular feeling from when I wrote it. When it came time to put these songs together for an EP, I realised they almost encompassed the timeline of an entire relationship. The simmering crush, the back-and-forth, the hopes (and doubts), the what-ifs, the passionate love, and the calamitous heartache. So, I wanted to amalgamate them into one single love story that detailed every experience I’ve ever had in love and the concept of Julia Stevens was born.

HOLLIE COL ON HER NEW EP JULIA STEVENS

To celebrate the release of her new EP Julia Stevens and the videos that accompany it, Hollie Col is sharing the things that inspired the video series.

Check out Julia Stevens by Hollie Col:

Hollie Col shares the things that inspired the Julia Stevens video series:

The ’70s era

“The Julia Stevens Series was heavily inspired by the ’70s era. From the clothing choices to the locations right down to posters on the walls, home phones, records, and trinkets. Every part of this series was pulled from the 1970s, which made it so much harder to make (lol).

“I spent forever trying to find bars, diners, and houses that felt true to the time. I scrolled through an endless amount of classic car pages to find the perfect ’70s car (in the perfect colour), stalked the Instagrams of way too many Sydney bars to find the right vibe, and tracked down the perfect houses (with super friendly owners) to shoot in. There is just something so attractive about the ’70s aesthetic to me, and I loved trying to recreate it.”

Hollie Col – Forgot To Love You (Official Music Video) Julia Stevens Series: Part 1

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is by far my favourite book in the universe. The love story between Celia and Evelyn is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking, and there was something so touching about their undying love that stayed with me well beyond putting the book down.

“The song ‘Lightning’ which features in the final part of my music video series was actually inspired by their story. When I wrote it, I had just finished reading the book and wanted to capture that same undying love. For me, when I watch that last episode all I can think about is Evelyn Hugo, and that little green dress.”

Hollie Col – ‘Happy Break-Up’ Julia Stevens Series: Part 2

Taylor Swift

“It would be remiss of me not to mention the queen of storytelling in this list. My love of narrative-based songwriting absolutely came from Taylor and her ability to evoke such vivid imagery in her songs. I’ve always loved to write in that same way. To create worlds within songs.

“For me, my love of visual art meant it was only natural to extend the story to the visual realm. When I write songs, I imagine the whole thing playing out in my head, so my desire to be able to represent that on-screen is pretty (very) strong.”

Hollie Col – Reruns (Official Music Video) Julia Stevens Series: Part 3

Wes Anderson

“This one is particularly true for the ‘Seasick’ video. There is something so fun and quirky about Wes Anderson’s style. He plays a lot with symmetry, everything feels really squared off and flat. I really felt like that style of film would be perfect for ‘Seasick’.

“I filmed the whole video in symmetrical shots and transitions with a few slow zooms thrown in for some extra fun. I was super nervous to change up my style for this one, but I’m so glad I did. I remember seeing a comment on the video a few days after it was released saying it felt very ‘Wes Anderson-esque’ and I audibly gasped with excitement.”

Hollie Col – Seasick (Official Music Video) Julia Stevens Series: Part 6

Colour

“I am such a sucker for a well-executed colour palette. I think colour palettes are so instrumental in building the mood and visual aesthetic of a film or series. I always find myself getting so excited any time I watch a new tv show that has a thorough, well-thought-out colour palette.

“It’s one of the first places I start. When I created the palette for these videos, I knew I wanted to stick to a few main colours that spoke to the 1970s era. Of course, it adds extra complexity to finding costumes and props, but I think it is 100% worth the effort.”

Hollie Col – 'Julia' (Official Music Short Film)

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