Hilary Woods returns with a new E.P. Night and Fringe Festival 2014 show this September 18th, 19th & 20th. Moving from her impressive début the River Cry (released last year) Woods speaks to the Last Mixed Tape about the evolving sound of her latest record and songwriting process.
“The last album was all recorded in this house down the country” Woods recalls about the making of The River Cry. “All those songs had been written over a couple of years, a longer period of time. On this record all the songs are more current, there were a lot to begin with but we brought them down. I try to write everyday now. It’s important to me and has become part of my day-to-day.”
The more immediate nature of Night also appears in the E.P’s overall production, with the songwriter looking for a more stripped back sound. “I wanted something that felt live. That could be recreated during shows.” Hilary comments. “This record is more percussive as well. I had been working closely with my drummer and everything has more space in it to make the rhythm more prominent.”
“We threw everything onto the canvas” continues Woods, speaking about the process of recording/producing night. “But it was much easier this time to take away those elements and create more room. I think it still has that same openness as the River Cry but also feels more rhythmic.
“Even in ‘Flames’, you can easily hear that becoming very big, especially towards the end” Woods adds. “But that wouldn’t have fit, and once we took it back everything, especially the percussion, has more room.”
Indeed, the sessions found Woods gravitating more towards the guitar, rather than the piano which had helped shape her début L.P. “That was very important. I had always wanted to play guitar on my own songs. Standing there and doing it just felt comfortable, a lot of my live shows had been that way too, up to that point.”
Talking about how her songwriting has changed in Night in comparison to the longer period of writing that went into the River Cry, Woods remarks “It’s part of my life. It’s always important to me. I was nervous going into the River Cry because it was my first solo album. But I had learned a lot from it that I could bring into this E.P. I think that’s why I tend to write more now. Music has its own landscape, it’s feels like an old friend to me.”
Hilary Woods will play this year’s Tiger Fringe Festival on September 18th, 19th & 20th at the Smock Alley theatre. Visit fringefest.com for ticket information.