Holiday Sidewinder Carmen-Sparks
Holiday Sidewinder in music video for Casino
|Birth name||Holiday Sidewinder Carmen-Sparks|
|Also known as||Holiday Sidewinder|
|Born||21 December 1990 (age 28)|
|Associated acts||Bridezilla, Alex Cameron, Kirin J. Callinan, Jack Ladder|
Sidewinder has been a professional musician since her teenage start with Bridezilla, and subsequently continued as a session musician and solo artist.
She formed Bridezilla with a group of friends in the early years of high school and they quickly gained local popularity and critical acclaim and signed to labels Ivy League Records and later Inertia Recordings. Over their 6 years together the band played numerous festivals and opened for The Dirty Three, John Cale (The Velvet Underground), Wilco, Stephen Malkmus (Pavement), The Drones, Interpol, Sia and many more. Nick Cave selected them to play at the All Tomorrows Parties Festival  he curated in Australia. They released one album, an EP and a vinyl split single with Mick Turner. The band split in 2012.
Collaborations and other appearances
Sidewinder appeared on SBS's Rockwiz Season 7, Episode 93  duetting with Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother on Stevie Nicks and Don Henley's classic 'Leather & Lace'. Since then she has appeared on the show numerous times and joined the Rockwiz live tours.
On 15 August 2015, Personal Best Records released 'Born On The Wind', a tropical dance pop collaboration with PBO, which noted the first release for the label. She also appeared as a guest vocalist on track 'Girl' with Stay Bless in 2015.
On 25 January 2016 she appeared on Jeremy Dylan's 'My Favorite Album' podcast, talking about Bob Dylan's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (album). She spoke about meeting Bob Dylan and Booker T. Jones (who plays bass on the album).
From 2017-2019 she was a touring member of Australian musician Alex Cameron's band. She performed keyboards and vocals live on Pitchfork Juan's Basement. and performed live with The Killers.
Holiday contributed a cover of Darlene Love and Phil Spector's Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) to 'Valentine Recording Presents: A Christmas Miracle' (released on 23 December 2018); a collaborative album benefiting victims of the California Wildfires featuring Mac Demarco, Jack Ladder, Alex Cameron, Kirin J. Callinan, Weyes Blood.
Holiday Sidewinder appeared as a guest vocalist on the Kirin J. Callinan album "Return To Centre" released 21 June 2019 featuring on tracks "Life is Life" and "You Weren't In Love With Me" (which she produced the accompanying music video for, starring Andie MacDowell) . She also featured as a vocalist on Alex Cameron's forthcoming album "Miami Memory" including singles "Miami Memory", "Step-Dad" and "Divorce" .
Sidewinder relocated to London, shortly after her Sydney Festival appearance, to pursue a solo pop career. She told Oyster magazine in 2014, '... The allure for me with pop music: it's universal and it shows that we're all human, that we all have these common feelings despite age, race, socio-economic backgrounds and all that. Pop is genuine. Although lots of pop songs are definitely calculated, there's something about the chemistry of them that gets a reaction from so many people.'
In March 2014 she independently released single "Carousel", written with Blondie producer Mike Chapman and shot the accompanying video on the Brighton Pier with MTV Video Music Award nominated choreographer Holly Blakey. Pop Justice premiered the track, saying "it sounds both completely demented and extremely brilliant". Clash (magazine) stated 'There's a sense of classicism here, in the way that Holiday can reconstitute languid, widescreen pop into something thrillingly new'. Australian Singer Songwriter Sia Furler tweeted about the single, revealing that she used to babysit Holiday. The Hairpin said "I read somewhere that having Sia Furler as your babysitter means that you are contractually obligated to produce great pop music for the rest of your life, which explains this new single from Holiday Sidewinder, very much a kooky, cotton-candy, retro-dream-pop jam".
On 23 March 2015 FBi Radio interviewed Sidewinder and previewed some of her new material on air for the first time (including songs with renowned songwriting and production team Biffco). She said of one song "I wrote this in a church in the south of France, in the middle of a Sunflower field, having a kind of intercontinental love affair."
In December 2016, she released a cover of East 17's Christmas classic 'Stay (Another Day)'. Clash (magazine) premiered the video which she directed herself, describing the song's "glacial synths and sun-washed vocals". FMS Mag called it 'a sparkling gem' from 'a dreamy pop sensation'.
On 13 October 2017 Rolling Stone Magazine premiered her single "Casino" -"Sickly sweet like rum and Coca-Cola, and just as deadly. Such is the surprising reinvention of former-Bridezilla vocalist Holiday Sidewinder, who unveils her bold new disco-diva sound... a cocky, glossy blur of pure hedonistic glam". The song was released through Personal Best Records.
Paper (magazine) premiered follow up single "Trash Can Luv" on 10 February 2018. "Singer-songwriter Holiday Sidewinder has officially gone solo to become a global pop sensation... Her sound marries Debbie Harry nostalgia with Róisín Murphy experimentation, which comes together flawlessly on her new single "Tra$h Can Luv"".
On 15 August 2018 she released Leo, a "pop-esque anthem about being an unapologetic heaux" HuffPost. The track premiered on Paper (magazine) with an exclusive Interview where she states "I always write from experience and add a dose of fantasy. I was a hopeless and foolish romantic, frivolous cheater, and serial monogamist. Every relationship was bumper to bumper. So I am now conclusively (and for the foreseeable future) a free and empowered Sex-positive movement independent lover. Still learning though. Who knows what's next. Conflama for life, whether you like it or not.". Australian blog Life Without Andy said Holiday is "Addressing the double standards that women experience when it comes to the world of dating, normalising behaviour that for some reason has different implications based on your gender, encouraging strength and erasing shame – Holiday Sidewinder is clearly not afraid to examine the burning issues facing many women in the world today. However, expressing these ideas in a four minute bubblegum pop video is her true masterstroke".
The accompanying music video for 'Leo' by director Thom Kerr stirred controversy for the use of male nudity and was labelled explicit by YouTube, leading to press dubbing her "the next pop provocateur". Holiday suggested on London Live (TV channel) that there was a double standard when it came to the objectification of male and female bodies in pop culture. The 'Leo' video won 'Best Performance' at Austin Music Video Awards and was nominated for Video of The Year. The video has also been nominated for 'Best Art Direction' at Berlin Music Video Awards.
21 December 2018 Holiday released single 'Whispers'. The track premiered on Happy Mag with a quote from Holiday -"Dance alone in your bedrooms, wear headphones and wistfully gaze out windows, play it on a boom box Say Anything... styles and wherever you are, wherever they are, reach out and touch them; if love’s eternal ethereal presence exists in your imagination and your heart, then so too, it exists in reality.".
In May 2019 her single 'Baby Oil' was released. It was featured in The Guardian's '20 best Australian tracks of the month', saying “Baby Oil is so effervescent you’ll need an insulin shot from all the sugar, with a Game Boy-esque riff, drum machines from an 80s-imagined future, and the same sex-positive message that has shone from her past few solo singles. The guitar solo that closes the song would be at home on the Purple Rain soundtrack, as would the sultry lyrics. Baby Oil feels like sneaking into an R-rated movie or listening to Madonna records and wondering what it all means – but feeling it nonetheless.”
On May 2 2019 the title track from her forthcoming debut "Forever or Whatever" was released. The Line of Best Fit premiered the track saying "Holiday Sidewinder slams picture-perfect “keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyles... her droll lyrics take a swipe at the assumption that a nuclear family is the culmination of happiness, singing of white picket fences and four-wheel drives".
In 2017 she launched an exercise company named Lovercise, in London with personal trainer Sapan Seghal and British model/actress/singer/broadcast journalist Carolyn Owlett. It is described as a 'bespoke fitness class for singles'. In an interview with Black Magazine (NZ) published on 21 August 2018 Holiday said "Well, I somehow ended up running a gym with my personal trainer (who became my boyfriend, of course). He was a Hindu Punjabi man and I lapped up his knowledge of Bollywood, muscles, and spirituality".
Sidewinder's mother is singer-songwriter and actress Loene Carmen and her step father is Canadian-Australian Actor Aden Young. Her father, Jeremy Sparks, worked in film set construction and is now an award-winning engineer who worked on Olympic Games ceremony, festivals and large public artworks (including Halo (sculpture)). Sparks' partner, Australian Actress Claudia Karvan is Sidewinder's stepmother.
Sidewinder's grandfather is noted Australian pianist singer-songwriter Peter Head. Her godfather is actor Noah Taylor. In a Guardian article he stated 'She's incredibly professional and way more focused than I am. I don't worry about her. She's very much all about the music and not bothered about celebrity. She's exceptionally modest. Music is what makes her happy and she's born to do it, but I could also imagine her becoming a politician – she's a real diplomat'.
- "Holiday Sidewinder & PBO's 'Born On The Wind' is a tropical holiday for your ears". 14 August 2014.
- "New Singles Label Launches With Holiday Sidewinder". theMusic.
- Tradiio. "Tradiio – Monthly Income For Music Creators". tradiio.com.
- "Bridezilla's Ex-Frontwoman Holiday Sidewinder Is Embracing Her Inner Diva - Fashion Magazine - News. Fashion. Beauty. Music. - oystermag.com". OYSTER.
- "Premiere: Holiday Sidewinder – Carousel".
- "Premiere: Holiday Sidewinder – 'Stay Another Day'".
- "Ask the DJ: Holiday Sidewinder – 11 Songs for Broken Hearts in the Holiday Season – FMS". fms-mag.com.
- "Forget Tinder: here's the latest gym craze for singles". 23 February 2017.
- "Splendour's creative field: Jordana Maisie".
- Meares, Joel (5 December 2014). "Richard Roxburgh wants 'handmade' quality for Spectrum arts festival in The Domain". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Toby Burrows photographs singer Holiday Sidewinder at home in Sydney | The Kitchen". thekitchen.com.au. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Me and my Guy: our latest fling". NewsComAu. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "It's Holiday time at Homebake – Music – Entertainment – smh.com.au". www.smh.com.au.
- Burnetts, Katie (29 March 2014). "Actor Noah Taylor and his goddaughter Holiday Sidewinder on their special relationship" – via The Guardian.