Missouri pop/rock group Hold Close created a highly produced alternative, emo-pop sound that recalls greats like Silverstein, but with all the rough edges smoothed out.
The group was formed in 2016 in Springfield, Missouri, by vocalist Braxton Smiley, guitarists Jessee Everett and Charlie Edel, bassist Devon Edwards, and drummer Marshall Martin, all of whom had known one another since high school and played in different bands in the local scene. Inspired by Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller Band, and Poison, they tracked their first EP, I Was Never Meant to Stay, at ABG Studios in Crown Point, Indiana, with Seth Henderson, who gave the recordings a remarkably smooth, polished sound. Hold Close self-released the EP in 2016, and another, I'll Never Go Back, the following year. Their melodic, emotionally affecting sound rapidly gained them fans and drew the attention of Hopeless Records , which signed them in 2018 and released their debut full-length album, Time, the following January. Produced once again by Henderson and heavily inspired by the death of a close friend, the album deals with loss, grief, and hope, and includes the single "Breath." ~ John D. Buchanan