Monday, April 2, 2018
Hilary Woods : " Colt"
Hilary Woods would not be out of place on the Twin Peaks soundtrack. Less fey sounding than the Cocteau Twins, yet it occupies a similar sonic space as an album like "Treasure". These ballads are haunting, yet invoke spirits of inner space rather than from beyond the grave. Hazy not dark would be the best way to describe the sound. There is a jazz like minimalism, though unlike 90s acid jazz, it serves the melody rather than the beat. The percussion on these songs is incidental. The hypnotic piano riff on "Take Him In" and it creates an almost Philip Glass flavored drone. The tightly layered vocals gracefully hover over this. It shifts into a more surreal folk on "Kith" . Lyrically many of these songs are rather simplistic, but it works for what she is doing.
The dream jazz returns for "Jesus Said". The programmed drums create an odd foundation for the more improvised sounding piano parts to wander over. While people might be quick to compare her to Marissa Nadler, I don't hear it. Unless you are going off the fact they are both female singers who revel in atmosphere. Nadler has a country background , where Woods seems more rooted in cinematic jazz. "Black Rainbow" seems to draw influence from Angelo Badalamenti. It's the narcotic pulse that anchors it, the vocals and the piano grow more detached for this and float off into their own ambiance. The album ends with "Limbs". It works off a pretty simple chord progression, that follows a less is more kind of minimalism, and slowly adds other textures of sounds. This gives the speculative vocals room to breath. The song drifts deeper rather than hitting you with a big chorus.This song had a darkly soothing effect
She joins the ranks of Marissa Nadler, Emma Ruth Rundle and Chelsea Wolfe, as sirens of the atmospheric land of shadows. There is not the "heavy" feeling I might get from the music of the other women, but I would not be surprised if I saw she was opening up for Russian Circles as I can hear how her music might appeal to fans of post-rock. She is very dark without being goth, though not far removed from Cocteau Twins in some ways who became thought of as goth fathers. So any genre that embraces emotive and shadow filled sounds could embrace what is done here.I'll go ahead and round this up to a 9.5 as it grows on me with each listen. This is being released on Sacred Bones June 8th.