Holden Miller released “Dopamine” last Friday (Aug. 19), reflecting on blissful pre-pandemic memories of time spent outdoors. Miller’s writing is often like a memoir in lyric-form, telling detailed stories of small events in his life. His new track, “Dopamine,” is similar in that it reflects on a three-year period between 2015-2018 where he and his friends were outdoors more than in. Miller tells the story from his current perspective after two years of being conditioned to stay inside, where the song is more of a longing for the outdoors, but is still a beautiful tribute.
The song came to Holden “after spending almost the whole day inside on the summer solstice [when he] realized that these beautiful months will pass by if [he doesn’t’] get outside enough.” He continues, “Although ‘Dopamine’ laments the depressive loop of being confined by 4 walls, the harmonic content feels sunny, bright, and uplifting – with the eventual and hopeful realization that if these days will pass by, so will the negative emotions.” “Dopamine” is the perfect feel-good track to tie a bow on the last weeks of summer.
Holden Miller beholds the people and places around him in a more thoughtful way than most, but without the stimulation of the people and places outside his walls, the song “Dopamine” was a necessary addition to his repertoire. The song verbalizes a complex emotion many people are struggling with, and a yearning they cannot do much about. With winter just around the corner, this song serves as inspiration to go out and enjoy the last few rays of vitamin D the sun has to offer this season.
The music video for “Dopamine” premiered in tandem with the song on YouTube, and is one of Miller’s more nostalgic works. The entire three-minute video is a compilation of clips he and his friends filmed (and saved for years) between 2015-2018. It includes vibrant beaches, forests, and lakes all recorded with professional-grade cameras, drones and cinematography, despite being recorded by students at the time. After viewing the video, it’s easy for the listener to understand Miller’s passion for nature along with the significance of this track for him.
Holden Miller doesn’t take himself too seriously — but his music is another story. When it comes to singer-songwriters with folk and pop undertones, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd, and he is up for the challenge. Holden creates music that holds a mirror to the experiences of other young people by approaching his songwriting without pretension. Based in Los Angeles with roots in New York, he surrounds himself with a community of creators as likely to be found at house shows as they are to be playing sold-out iconic venues. He creates from a place of questioning and longing — sometimes even from the depths of existential anxiety – and his songwriting is his own personal form of therapy. As his quickly growing fanbase continues to expand, thanks in part to an organic following on TikTok of people addicted to his covers and the samples of his songwriting shared on the platform, Holden is eager to continue sharing his craft with the world. Come join the party — everyone’s welcome here.