Dolly Valentine Emerges with Breathtaking Indie Folk Lullaby “Flowers on the Highway”

Dolly Valentine © Dolly Valentine
Dolly Valentine’s breathtaking third single “Flowers on the Highway” is a poignant reflection of the joy and pain, hope and sadness learned through a life in motion.
Stream: “Flowers on the Highway” – Dolly Valentine




I found myself ready to move on – like a fantastical dream you suddenly wake up from.

Holy Golden is out, and Dolly Valentine is in: Earlier this year, Amercan duo Leslie Schott and Andrew Valenti said goodbye to their musical project of five years, and introduced fans and family alike to something refreshing, exciting, and altogether new. A rebirth brimming with life and potential, Dolly Valentine allows Schott (and Valenti) to shine with the warm glow of connection, innocence, and singer-songwritery goodness. Her third single “Flowers on the Highway” is a poignant reflection of the joy and pain, hope and sadness learned through a life in motion. Radiant yet bittersweet, the song can be as happy as we want it to be, or as dark as we wish it to feel.

flowers on the highway - Dolly valentine

Flowers on the Highway – Dolly Valentine

Good morning baby
It’s a whole new world since yesterday
Sunshine or rainstorm
Nothing can change who I’ve been lately
Happy Birthday baby
It’s a whole new world since yesterday
Flowers on the highway
Tell me you love me again that way

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Flowers on the Highway,” independently out now. Following previous singles “Michigan, 1997” and “Titanic,” this song reveals the expressive approach Schott and Valenti have taken with their new artistry. Working with producer Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties, with Ought drummer Tim Keen and Illuminati Hotties bassist Zach Bilson, Dolly Valentine’s music is delicate yet sure-footed, honest and vulnerable but equally reserved.

According to Schott, the decision to transition into the new artistry felt natural. “I outgrew Holy Golden,” she says. “It was an incredible place to exist in. It saved me. Then I found myself ready to move on – like a fantastical dream you suddenly wake up from. There was a moment of terror when I realized it was time to let it go, but Dolly Valentine was stepping forward and it felt right. It was exciting and intense.”

Dolly Valentine © Dolly Valentine

Dolly Valentine © Dolly Valentine



Dolly Valentine marks a conscious funneling of sorts for the musical troubadours; whereas they embraced and indulged in experimentation as Holy Golden, Valentine’s work to date seems to dwell in a refined indie/avant-folk space, where the natural and ethereal vibrations of guitars gently glide along the airwaves. “Holy Golden was a very earnest period of learning. When an idea came to us we embraced it, recorded it, made a video, did a photo shoot and never doubted anything. It was really pure in that way but it was a lot of experimentation and not everything worked like I had envisioned it,” Schott notes. Conversely, “Dolly Valentine is more selective, more observant. Andrew and I still write all the music together, but we treat it as more of a ritual. At this point in my life I’ve had to establish structure around my creativity so I can trust it. I can’t just agree to everything my imagination wants. I’d rather make one or two great works than a hundred. Songs are spells in the sense that “to spell” is to literally write out letters into words. I want mine to be positive and true.”

Schott  continues, “I think the music sounds a lot better to my ears now. We recorded the new music in a studio with talented people on vibey old equipment. You can feel the collaboration whereas everything Holy Golden did existed in a bubble – albeit a very beautiful bubble. It’s incredibly freeing to embody my creative process in a new way, I’m still understanding it more and more all the time. It’s a labyrinth. I used to feel like I had to decorate everything, which is wonderful when you can do it well – but I’m more intentional now. “

Driving through Rhode Island
Your hand is on my hand
Love like wind through my weather vane blows
Telling me which way to go
Happy Birthday baby
It’s a whole new world since yesterday
Flowers on the highway
Tell me you love me again that way



“Flowers on the Highway” is Dolly Valentine’s first truly stripped-down affair, finding her secluded to vocals and guitar for a majority of the song. A low, barely audible bass (or cello) breathes heat into the low register, whilst sweet bird chirps add to the high range as the track progresses. These subtle sounds bring depth and character to an already nuanced song, creating the feeling that we are outside, perhaps listening to a solo artist in stringing their instrument in a sunlit meadow or a gorgeously green garden.

“I wrote Flowers on the Highway after a period of anxiety and it helped me find an inner calm,” the artist explains. “It happened for me after a difficult time with a lot of panic attacks and insomnia, and the song was this beautiful soft gift that calmed me down and felt like a frame on that moment in time – making everything in the picture fall into place. It’s a relaxing lullaby, with happy memories appearing like daydreams. I don’t live anywhere full time and am often traveling. The highway has become this metaphor for my life – a soothing and also empty environment. A place that’s neither here nor there. I’m always leaving or arriving from some place. The lyrics, ‘Happy birthday baby’ speak of beginning again, and ‘Flowers on the Highway’ represents both the wildflowers and memorials you see on the side of the road.”

‘Flowers on the Highway’ represents both the wildflowers and memorials you see on the side of the road.

Happy Birthday baby
It’s a whole new world since yesterday
Happy Birthday baby
It’s a whole new world since yesterday
It’s a whole new world since yesterday

A fragile thing of understated beauty and sorrow, “Flowers on the Highway” will take your breath away.

Dolly Valentine proves her worth on her third single, setting herself apart from her contemporaries as well as the music of her past. Personally, she describes the song as subconscious and meditative: “If it were an object, it would be like a feather falling in the sun. You don’t see it there, and then it transfixes you.”

We really couldn’t say it better ourselves.

Holy Golden’s music continues to be available online for our listening pleasures, and we encourage curious ears to explore songs like “The Movie” and “Seven of Diamonds” – two noteworthy standouts in the band’s back catalog. In Holy Golden’s place, there now stands Dolly Valentine: A gilted voice that promises to ride us through the full range of the emotional spectrum!

Stream: “Flowers on the Highway” – Dolly Valentine



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flowers on the highway - Dolly valentine

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com