Rina Sawayama Shows Her Sensitive Side with “Hold the Girl” Video; New Album 9/16, Fall Tour


Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Multifaceted, genre-hopping singer/songwriter Rina Sawayama has been previewing her new record, Hold the Girl, which will be released on Sept. 16.

Three songs have been shared so far from the album, with the title track landing last week, with a music video debuting this week.

A dynamic composition blending Sawayama’s soaring vocals and electronic-tinged production flourishes, it’s an exhilarating experience:

“’Hold the Girl’ was the first song I wrote for the record at the end of 2020 — I had gone to therapy and had a revelation, so I decided to write this song…that was the start of it,” said the British-Japanese musician in a statement. “I was crying before going into the studio to write about it.”

The track follows “Catch Me In the Air,” a sweeping, soaring slice of pop perfection with a heartfelt message of love and appreciation extended from the artist to her mother, who raised Sawayama as a single parent:

The first song shared from Hold the Girl, “This Hell,” is an empowering, life-affirming LGTBQ pride anthem from Sawayama, who publicly identifies as both bisexual and pansexual.

“It’s an important song for me given the human rights that are being taken away from minorities at a rapid rate in the name of traditional religious beliefs, more specifically I was thinking about the rights being taken away from the LGBTQ community when I wrote this song. When the world tells us we don’t deserve love and protection, we have no choice but to give love and protection to each other. This Hell is better with you.”

Sawayama is one of the most intriguing and risk-taking acts in the rock/pop world these days, whose career has built momentum in recent years with compelling releases. Stay tuned for more from this new album.

To catch up on Rina Sawayama’s recent success, here’s a bit of a primer, per a news release:

In 2020, Rina’s debut album SAWAYAMA became one of the most critically acclaimed albums that year landing on over 50 album of the year lists, including the New York Times (#2), The Guardian (#3) and Rolling Stone (#6). The last 18 months have seen Rina Sawayama achieve a magnitude of milestones including changing the Mercury Prize and BRITs eligibility rules which meant Non-British artists could apply if they have been a permanent resident in the UK for more than 5 years. In 2021 Elton John joined forces with the pop star to release a special rendition of “Chosen Family,” a powerful and emotional ode to her LGBTQ+ family. Elsewhere Rina injected new life into Lady Gaga’s instant club classic “Free Woman.” 2023 will see Rina in her film acting debut as she stars in John Wick 4 alongside Keanu Reeves.

In addition to the new track, Rina Sawayama announced a North American tour for the fall, following her upcoming slate of performances in Europe and Japan (as well as Outside Lands in San Francisco):

8/6 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands
8/20 – Osaka, Japan @ Summer Sonic Osaka
8/21 – Tokyo, Japan @ Summersonic Festival
9/3 – Stradbally, Republic of Ireland @ Electric Picnic
10/12 – Glasgow, Scotland @ SWG3
10/13 – Glasgow, Scotland @ SWG3
10/15 – Dublin, Republic of Ireland @ Olympia Theatre
10/18 – Nottingham, England @ Rock City
10/20- Manchester, England @ Manchester Academy
10/21 – Birmingham, England @ O2 Academy Birmingham
10/23 – Brighton, East Sussex, England @ Brighton Dome
10/24 – Cardiff, Wales @ The Great Hall *NEW DATE*
10/26 – London, England @ O2 Academy Brixton

11/1 – Brooklyn, NY @ Great Hall at Avant Gardner
11/4 – Boston, MA @ Roadrunner
11/5 – Silver Springs, MD @ The Fillmore
11/6 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
11/8 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern
11/9 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
11/11 – Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom
11/12 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Austin
11/13 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
11/16 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
11/18 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA
11/21 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
11/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium

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