A slow-burning record that flickers with brilliance, Hilary Woods’ new E.P. Night marks a continued and promising evolution in sound from the artist.
Opening strongly with the percussively captivating sound of ‘Flames’, the song establishes the heavy atmosphere and shuddering motion of Night while also showcasing the record’s deep-seated production.
Further highlighting this sound, the sharp echoing rhythm of ‘Secret Sabbath’ uses the sense of space to great effect. Receding back into the recording’s vast and shrouded backdrop the track gives aspect sonically as the twinkling piano glistens midway between the beat and Woods reflective, up-close vocal.
Indeed Night wraps its entire sound around the artist’s vocal performance, drawing it’s mood and tone from Woods calming voice. Within the large-scale cinematic scope of ‘Our Tide Turn’ the music seems to respond to the vocalist’s dynamic flourishes rather than simply accompany her.
Closing with the raw, personal feel of ‘My Daughter, My Gold’ the culmination of the E.P’s parts come together to create a definite surge in energy to bring the album to an emotionally striking end.
Night is an E.P. about brooding rhythm, enchanting mood and isolated space. Given the room to explore the depth of sound in her music, Woods uses this sonic canvas to convey introspective moments lyrically and great thematic shifts musically.
A fully realised record, Night can be gentle and serene in one moment, then suddenly foreboding and dramatic the next. All of which is melded together by a beguiling central performance from Hilary Woods. If it’s a transitional piece, eventually leading to a new album, then it is a perfectly paved transition. We await album number two with great expectation.
Night by Hilary Woods is out now.
I saw the show at Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival and it was mesmerising, special stuff
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