VIDEO PREMIERE: Desert Hollow Hit the Road with Worldly Folk-Pop Anthem “Thirsty”

The name Desert Hollow is a definition for the geographical and artistic influences of this farm fresh, California based duo. Xander Hitzig and Nicole Olney teamed up in love and music a few years back. Their story began in a jukebox country musical featuring the songs of Paul Overstreet, in which they both had lead roles. In one scene wherein they shared a song, her performance included a choreographed lap-dance for him. This play went on for about 6 months and helped to seal the deal for both of them.

Xander comes from the West Virginia countryside, and Nicole from the California desert. Both influences are prominent on their debut EP, Thirsty. Her lilting vocal seems to melt into the sturdy, eclectic musical beds of each tune. His voice is as deliberate as an old-school folkie singing with no amplification. When the two come together in harmony, it’s as if they have known each other all their lives. Flaunting a Gram and Emmylou-like confidence in their delivery, one is pulled back through the decades in a time machine made of stringed instruments only to land in present day Los Angeles’ alt-country scene.

With a gypsy spirit, the two found themselves sleeping in an old GMC van before moving into a bungalow in Venice Beach. The two consider themselves “weirdos” at heart and embrace their artist lifestyle; Xander, busking with his fiddle on Abbot Kinney Blvd, and Nicole writing poetry, stories and even a short film that got into the Cannes Festival. They can frequently be seen wearing 1950s aviation gear while riding their vespa through the streets of Santa Monica.

They share a love for early traditional folk and bluegrass but are equally passionate about indie-folk and alt country music. Both members are songwriters with their own processes. For Xander, it all comes from his broad, musical palette. As a masterful multi-instrumentalist, including fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, penny whistle and many more, he can adeptly build a musical bed from which to begin a tune. A hopeless purveyor of “dad jokes”, his humor shines through on songs like “Take Me Back To Nowhere”. Nicole, wielding her own poetic power, sees the world through an artist’s eye in “Look At Those Birds”.

Today Glide is premiere the video for “Thirsty,” the new single and title track for the upcoming EP. If #vanlife has a soundtrack, then this duo is providing it. With a 5 string banjo part that gives the song its rustic, on-the-road folkie vibe, the song showcases Nicole’s soulful vocals alongside with Xander’s ability to harmonize. Mixing infectious folk anthems with a pop sensibility, this is the kind of song that gets you singing along. It also captures the spirit of hitting the open road with zero cares, which is a sentiment many can relate to considering the road tripping of the past year as we were unable to fly. Interestingly, the duo also experiments with different instruments to give the song a more worldly dynamic. 

Nicole Olney describes the inspiration behind the track:

“The song Thirsty felt like it already existed outside of myself. I felt more like an archeologist than a writer, scraping away the dirt from the bones of the thing. I still have my old scraps of paper with my original ramblings of lyrics. I would keep scratching things out that didn’t feel right. I look back at those and I’m really happy I listened to my gut every time I changed a line. I was right. It wasn’t quite it. Once I finally had the words and a basic chord progression I shared the song with Xander, and he impulsively picked up his five-string banjo and started playing along. It was like a light had turned on. The song was officially birthed right then.”


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