“But I don’t love you – not like I want to.”
Delta Rae is a folk rock band from Durham, North Carolina, who sound like Fleetwood Mac reborn. They are siblings Ian Holljes (vocals and guitar), Eric Holljes (vocals, guitar, piano and keys) and Brittany Holljes (vocals), with Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals), Mike McKee (percussion), and Grant Emerson (bass guitar). Delta Rae‘s major label debut Carry The Fire (2012) is a fantastic blend of charming melodies and soaring four-part harmonies. The current EP Chasing Twisters (2013) takes a step further into more modern indie folk proving the siblings self-proclaimed declaration that they sound like “Mumford and Sons meets Fleetwood Mac“.
“If I loved You” was recorded for Carry The Fire as a soulful ballad, complete with Stax-styled horns, but, was re-recorded for Chasing Twisters [with Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac no less!] with a rootsy, percussion-driven beat and gospel-esque backing vocals. The video above is for the latter, but, both versions are worth listening to. However, right now, I’m leaning more toward the EP version.
Elizabeth Hopkins sings lead on “If I loved You”, but, the song, like all Delta Rae songs, was written by Ian and Eric Holljes. You may notice, while watching the video above, that Elizabeth Hopkins looks a whole lot like (a younger) Sheryl Crow. My daughter’s mother’s best friend from high school also looks a lot like (an older) Sheryl Crow, but, she can’t sing. Hopkins, however, can sing amazingly well.
“If I loved You” is a heartbreaking story of loving someone but not being in love with them. “If I loved you,” Hopkins sings, in the verses, dreaming of how she wishes it could be. “But, I don’t love you,” she admits, in the choruses, realizing that she can’t change the way she feels. Her wistful vocals perfectly express the frustration of the situation, especially in the bridge: “I wish to God I could change it, darling / Could make you the one / I will always have these regrets and wonder / What else I could have done.” It’s such a sadly beautiful song.
“If I loved You” is yet another song that I f*cking love, and Delta Rae is an cool new band. In fact, I’m confident that, with their next release, I will become an obsessive fan. Let’s wait and see. But, I have to admit, that I initially discovered this band, not by their music, but, by something more superficial. In 2012, I was flipping through Rolling Stone magazine’s Women Who Rock issue, and I stumbled upon a photo of Delta Rae. In the photo, a live shot, Brittany Holljes was wearing a short, floral print sun dress, and, all I could think was, “Wow. That girl has amazing legs.” So, I checked Delta Rae out, and, luckily, found a talented new band. I could not find that photo, but, I did find a photo of the Rolling Stone article …
Now, if you search for images of Delta Rae or Brittany Holljes, you will see that she displays those lovely legs quite often, as well she should – she’s a beautiful young girl. However, Brittany is way more than just her pretty face and gorgeous legs, as is Elizabeth Hopkins, so, let’s listen to Britttany‘s soulful voice in the awesome video for Delta Rae‘s single “Bottom of the River” (from Carry The Fire) here …
I love that rhythmic walk! I downloaded Carry The Fire back in 2012 from eMusic. I didn’t have liner notes, and I hadn’t seen a video. All I knew was that the band had four singers: two men, two women. I assumed that the adorable blonde (Brittany Holljes) sang lead on “If I Loved You” and the sexy brunette (Elizabeth Hopkins) sang lead on “Bottom of the River”. Obviously, I was wrong.