Just last month, 22-year-old Holly Humberstone released her heartbreaking, brand-new single, “London Is Lonely.” The track tells the story of Humberstone and her experience of moving to London on her own for the very first time. The song emits similar feelings to being homesick and craving nothing more than something or someone familiar during a period of strange nothingness.
Holly Humberstone – “London Is Lonely” video
Written during the height of the pandemic, Humberstone sings of the loneliness she felt during this period of extreme isolation. Just like many others during this unprecedented time, everything felt uncertain and nerve-wracking. Living on your own for the first time is certainly scary but doing so amidst a pandemic heightens the anxiety that comes with it.
She sings, “Nothing can hold me like you do / London is oh so lonely without you.” Referring to familiarity in the first half of the line, Humberstone pleads for normalcy and misses the feeling of comfortability and home. The lyric video perfectly embodies her lyrics displaying clips of a train station and the towering buildings of the big city of London. The video is shot to appear as a distant memory, the dark colors are brooding and eerie, like what Humberstone wants to evoke in her lyrics.
“I wrote ‘London Is Lonely’ back in February 2020 right before the pandemic hit here in the UK. I had just moved out of my childhood home down to London and had spent the past few months feeling really trapped and alone in my tiny flat with strangers. London felt so intense and although there were so many people around me, I felt even more isolated and like I didn’t belong. I kind of lost myself in the city. I didn’t exactly know who I was anymore. So going home and writing felt like my safe space to process everything.
It’s funny how listening to the song almost two years on, post-pandemic, and feeling like nothing much has changed at all. I’m still trying to find my place here and make it my home. And so it felt right to put this song out into the world right now when so many other people are probably feeling lost right now too.” — Holly Humberstone explained
Large cities are often overwhelming and can make you feel like you are drowning when the world presents you with so many opportunities at once. Humberstone sings, “So many people – it’s so easy to get lost sometimes.” This line highlights her feelings of losing her identity over time when all she wanted was to discover it. Rather than finding goodness in new people and opportunities, Humberstone admits that instead she was lost.
Nearing the end of the song, she sings the chorus, “London is lonely so lonely / I’m lonely without you” with sound echoes of “So lonely without you.” The repetition of “lonely without you” emphasizes Humberstone’s intense feelings of disconnect that many people might have felt during the pandemic. Anyone who felt alone can resonate with her lyrics and understand that the feeling of loneliness can be all-consuming. Humberstone’s lyrics are emotional and touching, something anyone who has felt lonely can relate to.
As Brit’s Rising Star of 2022, Humberstone has an exciting year ahead of her. With her thoughtful voice and graceful lyrics, Humberstone is set to perform both weekends at Coachella this coming April. She will also be joining Girl in Red and Olivia Rodrigo on tour. Kick-starting the year with this nostalgic and telling single, Humberstone has a bright year to come!