Heather Hill launched Leuty Station May 2012. Warning: it causes ear worms, that entertaining condition whereby a catchy tune boogies in your head throughout the day even when no tangible music is playing.
Heather Hill’s voice is like liquid love, with robust rumbling lows, ethereal highs and a plethora of delicious tones in between. She’s one of those singers who can convey a story and/or emotion with the sound of her vocalizations without lyrics– and then she’s got good lyrics too! The amazing thing about Heather’s lyrical stories is that they are very specific and often very literal with a truth that can give you shivers.
The vocal and instrumental play weaving together throughout this album is inspired and fun. I’ll leave the instrumental critique to someone more instrumentally adept, but to this laylady—(Hmm, this literary play on layman doesn’t have the eloquent sound I thought it might)—I hear topnotch beats and grooves that generate many a Leuty Station earworm. Prior to the Leuty Station CD launch, Heather did a marvelous series devoting a blog to each individual song on the CD. You can hear the song, read the lyrics and learn a little something about the origin and process of the song. It really is worth the read and listen. It starts here: Leuty Station pre-release song 1
Never Grow Old has an infectious beat with thunderous affecting crashes. I love the story behind this song and often smile with the thought of it. “To age and never grow old”
Wading Through Normal is extra-special to me because it’s a co-write with another gal I admire, Meghan Morrison. I interviewed the two lovelies on their collaboration, and you can explore that here. Wading Through Normal sings for the unsung hero in Moms everywhere. “She’s remarkable in the every day, notable in the always there.”
Last Train is one of those true stories that gives me goose bumps when I consider it. It’s a true story and the resultant song is haunting and encouraging in equal measure. It reminds me how important it is to keep your mind and body as fit as possible. “If ever there’s a time to win a race it’s now.”
The refrain of Leuty Station really speaks to me lyrically and sonically. It takes me beyond myself, the way the refrain in Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey does. It feels like the melody of my life, an anthem of hope weighted in possibility that makes me feel equally light and powerful. It makes me feel truthful about myself. “I like it that way, I like it that way. Alone in the rain and the waves with my thoughts and hopes on this stormy day.” If ever I could do a Heather Hill cover song, Leuty Station is it.
For a truly transcending musical experience, you must hear Heather Hill live. Generous, witty and wise in music and deed, she is an all-around luminous musician, woman and friend.
For information on Heather’s upcoming tour and how you can lure her to your very own city, visit www.HeatherHill.ca if you haven’t been there by now.
I look forward to sharing the lineup with Heather, Meghan Morrison, Lily C, and many other wonderful artists at the upcoming Wonder Women V event August 8, 2012 at 7:30 at the Celebration Square Amphitheatre in Mississauga. Hope to see you there!
Sing a blissful tune, everybuddy!
Music normally captivates me in three ways:
1) The sound: the melody and ambience of simple tones or intricate chords dancing together in a magical arrangement
2) The lyrics: the words, specific or all-encompassing, that articulate, commiserate and motivate
3) The voice: The unquantifiable features of a singer’s tone and expression that speak to me irrationally and profoundly
Lily C captivates me in all three categories on Reaching For Sunlight. This is Lily C’s debut English album and it is described as, “a collection of songs that reflect her journey to stay hopeful despite challenging circumstances.”
Reaching For Sunlight is joyful and beguiling pop music woven from sonic layers that lull and enliven. It has rousing pep, addictive rhythms and penetrating depth.
The lyrics are enlightening, empowering and everlasting. It may not be fair to extract lyrics from their song bed, but many of these are so powerful on their own that I had to list some of my favourites.
“…in my hurricane of grief can you show me how to breathe…”
“…just when you think that you’re gonna die, that’s when you realize you’re made to fly…”
“…I’m reaching for sunlight like city flowers do…”
Lily’s voice is like hard candy: sweet and solid. It’s like whiskey licorice.
While listening to I Am A Bee, I swore I was soaring on the breeze with butterflies until someone walked in the room and I realized it was just me bouncing in my office chair.
Come Back To My Love affects me most intensely. My heart is struck in all three categories– sound, lyric and voice. The lilting piano notes lure me in off the top, and Lily’s supple and raw vocalizing clinches the enchantment. Every time. I could listen to her vocalization after the bridge on repeat forever. It’s like she’s singing in my ear, whispering, speaking directly to me while I lay on a couch crumpled in defeat. She’s the wee Fairy of Trust lulling me to the belief that everything will be ok; her metaphoric arms first cradling and comforting me before picking me up, dusting me off, and guiding me to stand again on my own with more strength than I had before. If I were to do a cover of a Lily C song, it would be this one!
Listening to Lily C’s music is like starting your day off with a good breakfast: being nourished with your favourite cereal fortified with familiarity and optimism and sweet wee Lily bits that beam up at you through the milk, coaxing you to have a glorious day no matter what comes your way. I think Reaching For Sunlight is a masterwork and I recommend you check it out! www.lilyc.com. Lily also has a pretty inspiring blog: Take A Deep Breath.
I look up to Lily and look forward to more music from her.
I also look forward to sharing the lineup with her at the upcoming Wonder Women V event August 8, 2012 at 7:30 at Celebration Square in Mississauga. But more about that later…
…until then, may the music always play!