Hilary Woods’ ‘Night’ EP – Review
In her younger years, Hilary Woods recorded two multi-platinum selling records in hugely successful Irish indie trio JJ72, the band went on to tour throughout the globe, only building upon their musical talents and fan base. By the age of twenty-two, the same year she became a mother, she decided to follow solo interests as an artist. It’s clear from this latest musical outpouring that she is far more focused solely on rising and rising, forging a musical career all on her own. Woods herself admitted that she began to rapidly feel disenchanted with the suburban world bearing down upon her, seeking to focus on the more natural world, submerging herself in sounds of the world around her. Having quit the band at what some would have described at the height of their musical career, Wood doesn’t seem to shy away from the pressures of a solo career. In fact, on her own- Hilary Wood is just wow. Her latest musical offering, ‘Night’, certainly adheres to the genre she’s come to label herself as, “detuned dream folk-pop”. Bet you didn’t even know that was a musical genre, eh? Her latest sound seems to be inwrought with this delicious, darkness. It’s the little, cutting undertones of it, that less than wholesome quality that just emphasises Woods is more serious than ever about her sound. Woods’ mesmeric singing ability is comprised of whispered vocals, shimmering atmospherics and poetic lyric, which marks her as a force to be reckoned with in terms of song writing and performance.
What a musical talent to say the least. Her voice is this wonderfully delicate delight to listen to, particularly the opening track of her EP, “Flame”. It’s a charming voice; there’s almost this shimmering, birdlike quality to it. It stops you in your tracks when you initially listen to it, it’s fragile and there’s this resonance that sits with you throughout the EP. “Flame” was the perfect single to kick off her EP, that pulsing drumbeat that underscores the entire track perfectly encapsulates this new sense of darkness that her music seems to have taken. It’s easy to see why she would call her EP, “Night”; this is the musical equivalent of being in the woods, the sense of wonder, uncertainty, and darkness. All these elements make it a scintillating listen. The vocals perfectly befit the beat, there’s that slow drawl to her voice that simply gets under one’s skin; the lyrics just ooze a mystical quality. “Secret Sabbath” also draws upon a simmering quality that this EP seems to embody, it’s the sound of slow burning and Woods’ lyrics perfectly fan the flames. The song almost has an endarkened quality to it; it’s a passionate and haunting ode to love. “Our Tide Turn” seems to be slightly less sombre in manner, it’s clear that Woods wants her voice to be the central sound of her music, and it’s easy to see why- her voice rings clear as a bell. “Can’t you see our stars/ can’t you hear out tide turn”, her lyrics and voice are simply beautiful; her lyrics are just this sonorous sound, like a beam of light in the dark.
Flying solo seems to have been the most wonderful thing that has happened to Woods, it’s clearly given her the chance to stretch her wings as a solo performer, and everyone’s ears benefit from this. Her sound is just absolutely alluring, you want to listen to the EP repeatedly, and she’s clearly used her time wisely, in order to hone her voice and sound. “Night” is definitely an EP I’ll be adding to my music library.
Review by Elaine McDonald