Monday, February 05, 2018

Musician Jack Holland: Sprouting “Dutch Tulips” in Somerville

Jack Holland (Front)

Musician Jack Holland: Sprouting “Dutch Tulips” in Somerville

By Doug Holder

Jack Holland arrived at my anointed spot at the back of the bloc 11 cafe in Union Square, Somerville.

At age 29 he still sports apple cheeks and a thoughtful boyish manner. But don't be fooled. Holland is a serious musician and lyricist. He is the founder of the Somerville-based rock band, “ Dutch Tulips,” aptly named considering his last name.

Holland and his band of friends consist of Holland himself on guitar and lead vocals, Michael Holland, his brother, on bass and vocals, Justin Mantell on guitar, synth and vocals, and Union Square resident Matt Freake on drums and voice. They are planning to have a release party at Charlie's Kitchen in Harvard Square, Feb. 19, 2018 for their new, self-tilted EP. I asked Holland about how he would describe their music. Holland replied, “ The Dutch Tulips take pop songs and often pervert the themes and sounds and deliver it all with passion and emotional immediacy. At once neurotic and gratifying, the Tulips pay tribute to bands like Weezer, the Cars, and the Beach Boys.”

Holland, originally from the hinterlands of New Hampshire has lived in Somerville for a number of years. Holland reflected, “I love being here because people are so creative and attuned about what's going on in the world.” And like many artists who have fled the city because of gentrification and skyrocketing rents, Holland is uncertain about how long he will be here. He said, “ I am living in the moment. If my rent increases I may have to look at other options.”

Holland said he has had a fair number of gigs in the city. He and his band have performed at such venues as the Greek American Social Club in Union Square, the “Once Ballroom,” the Somerville Armory, etc... Holland informed me that he has a few gigs coming up in Brooklyn, N.Y. that will occur after the release of his new EP.

Holland writes the lyrics to many of the songs his band plays. They often deal with mental illness—as Holland has worked for a number years in the field. He said, “ I take my experiences and render them into extreme versions of things that have happened in my life or at work.” Holland, who always has sported a strange sense of irony and an ample dose of biting wit, titled one of his recent songs, “ Love it or Loathe it.” He is a man who likes to cover both sides of the coin.

Holland is dedicated to his art. And if he has to continue to work a day job to make the daily nut—well he has no problems with that. He usually works around midnight to 3AM. on his music. So if you see a light burning during this time-- during your dark night of the soul --on some godforsaken Somerville street-- it could be our musician burning the midnight oil.

When I think of Holland I am reminded of these lines from the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay,

“ My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
but ah, my foes, my friends--
It gives a lovely light.”

I think Holland will be burning his candle for many years to come.

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