There’s something wonderful about stumbling across an artist who resonates with your own particular musical taste. I remember in the early nineties when I stumbled across a Mary Beats Jane album that I still love today or took a punt on a weird looking record called Portrait of an American Family by Marilyn Manson simply because it was produced by Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. While not as distinct the opening of Hilary Woods‘ Colt already feels iconic to me. Reminiscent of a time that’s passed but familiar; if Twin Peaks was real Hilary Woods would be playing in the Bang Bang Bar. Indeed the song Black Rainbow recalls Lynch vividly, not least because the opening bars echo the famous Badalamenti theme from the show.
Wood’s ethereal vocals drift on top of a delicate soundscape of minimalist piano, reverb-drenched synths, acoustic guitar and heartbeat-esque drums. Colt sits somewhere on the curb of post-rock and classical where a simple pattern is repeated gently over and over while the song builds around it. The repetition is hypnotic and daydream-inducing while Wood’s lyrics touch on abandonment, grief and the ending of love.
As I listened to Woods examine these themes, I found the songs open up my own memories, slashing open moments in my life I’d locked away. Inhaler is about needing to breathe on our own having been smothered for so long, Jesus Said’s powerful haunting chorus of “Give me back my skin, to live in” touches on the same area. To me, Colt is about reclaiming who we are again from who we were when we’re in a relationship, which bits were us and which bits were them?
Consisting of just eight tracks Colt hasn’t got time for any filler and after setting the tone on the flawless opener Inhaler, it captivates and sucks you in. Since receiving the review copy it’s been an album I reach for regularly – an ethereal, haunting yet achingly beautiful record.
Colt is out today via Sacred Bones.