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Hollow Twin Rewrite the Prophecy

Becky Wosk is trusting the universe and leaning into her authenticity with a new incarnation of her beloved indie folk act.

by Hannah Harlacher

Photo by Homebody Creatives

Becky Wosk, frontwoman of the Vancouver folk-rock band Hollow Twin, claims to be at her most creative and focused at night. She has a preference for writing her enchanting lyrics under the moon, and she might even say that reaching her creative ambitions was written in the stars. In conversation with RANGE, Wosk shares the details of her upbringing and uprooting as a teen, from city life in Dunbar to the farmlands of Chilliwack, where she would create a second home, make friends who would become her bandmates, and find a way to keep pursuing her musical dreams.

“I think when something’s in your soul and it’s part of the essence of you, it can never really be gone,” she says. “Because it’s something that brings you joy, and that you connect with, I think that there will always be a way.”

Wosk has been a writer and singer for most of her life, and was first drawn to theatre as a child, but due to severe anxiety, she chose to take a step back from performing. It wouldn’t be until 2011, when Wosk would meet former band partner Emmalee Watts in university, that she would pursue music seriously, with the two forming Hollow Twin as a duo.

Over the next seven years, Hollow Twin would release several singles and a few records, until in 2022 – just before going into the studio to record demos for what would be the band’s latest record release, Dancing with Matches – Watts decided to part ways with her long-time bandmate.

Even though Wosk was afraid Watts’ leaving would mean the end of Hollow Twin, she forged a path forward. Wosk is supportive of her friend wanting to be happy and the two remain close friends today. 

“I’m into astrology and I’m a Sagittarius, I’m always like, ‘Go, you need to live your dreams, go for what you want and don’t give up and really do what you want to do, and what makes you happy, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.’ That’s my philosophy,” she says. 

Always one to look for a silver lining, Wosk admits that Watts’ departure was actually a good refresh for Hollow Twin, leaving room for the band to grow in a new way and offering her a fresh start. Adding four new band members to the roster, she’s excited about the new direction the band is taking and how rewarding it is to see people responding to the new music – and even dancing to it. 

“It’s really cool when new people come to shows and they come up to us after and tell us that they enjoyed it, that means the world to us,” she says. “I feel like that’s been happening more with the new music. I love that and I hope that we can find our audience on a more broad level.” 

Wosk introduces her new bandmates to me via anecdotes from her past, starting with her writing and singing partner Alex Smith, who she met at a punk show in Chilliwack when the pair were 18. She praises his musical brilliance, his drive, and describes how the two somewhat serendipitously joined forces after Watts’ departure to form the new sound of Hollow Twin and produce a revamped version of Dancing with Matches. Along the way, Wosk also picked up Levi Bakker on keys, Daniel Sparrow on the bass and Dean Disanjh on drums. 

When discussing the band’s writing style and influences, she says that her love of Fleetwood Mac, Smith’s love of The Pixies and producer Kyle Schick’s love of the Beatles all came together on the record to create a unique sonic blend that spans genres and decades. Wosk is enjoying the freedom to experiment with the new sound and is determined to not put herself in a box as writer and performer, describing the new sound as a mashup of vintage, Americana,  indie-rock, and elements reminiscent of ‘60s pop. A true storyteller, Wosk says that the intimacy in the lyrics that go alongside it is intentional. 

“Everything I do has deep meaning,” she says. “I’m one of those people that would rather have a very deep, revealing conversation with someone and talk about incredibly deep feelings and emotions. Really, I’m not great with small talk… I want to know you, I want to know what you’re going through, I want to connect with you on a really deep level.”

Listeners will find 2 versions of track “Be Home” on the record, which Wosk wrote nearly a decade ago. After recording an upbeat, surf-rocky version of the track, she woke in the night with a nagging feeling to also include her original, stripped-down piano version on the record, ultimately manifesting in the form of “Be Home Ver.2.” They managed to get it in just in time. Wosk struggles to choose just one stand-out or favourite track on the record, but decides on “Above Water,” which she says is the most fun to perform, but reaches that status through its moving content. 

“The song is about fighting with anxiety and depression and not in a sad way, but it’s just kind of how the world expects you to carry on and push through things as if you are not going through anything yourself,” she says. “Like, you need to go to work this day, even though something is happening to you personally that no one else can see.”

 

 

Wosk tells me that being an advocate for and breaking down stigmas around mental health is of extreme importance to her. She attempts to do this on “Above Water,” illustrating the lonely reality of putting on a brave face and keeping your head above the waves. “I want people to know that there’s so many people in this world going through what they’re going through too,” she says. “And that we can all be there for each other and not to be afraid to share what you’re feeling… I think we could have more compassion for each other in society and see each other as individuals and not just cogs.”

Wosk and Smith spent time rehearsing and fleshing out the strongest songs that the pair had between them, choosing tracks for Dancing with Matches that felt cohesive and showed range in both genre and ability. Wosk compares her approach to the production of the record to that of creating a painting or piece of artwork. 

“In my head, I see it as – you start with a rough sketch, and then you just keep polishing and polishing, and adding more and adding more, until it’s the final product. It’s so much like [a piece of] artwork… and then the final mastering is the varnish,” she says.

Hollow Twin is already planning for new music, and in the meantime is hoping to tour Dancing with Matches overseas in Germany, where the majority of their listenership is, second to North America. And in terms of other plans for the band’s future, Wosk is hopeful listeners will connect to the new record, and continue to support the band as they move forward.

“I hope people want to listen, feel free to reach out to us on social media, and check out our shows coming up… if [you’re] from somewhere else, mention us to your venues, and we would love to have a chance to play live more. I just wanna keep performing and making music,” she says.

Dancing with Matches is Hollow Twin’s first vinyl press and you can find it locally in Vancouver at Highlight Records, Red Cat Records, Zulu, and at the upcoming shows below. 

Hollow Twin perform live on July 19 at Revelry (Kelowna), July 20 at Burnaby Pride, August 15 at Chilliwack Mural Fest and August 22 at Fox Cabaret (Vancouver).