Album Review Hilary Woods - Colt

Hilary Woods - Colt

An ominous exercise in atmosphere.


Dubliner Hilary Woods wrote ‘Colt’ in an abandoned flat, which lends plenty of weight to the sombre mood that prevails throughout. It’s by far the record’s most intriguing quality; developed through a dark canvas of swelling strings and windy ambience. It’s not surprising to hear that she’s previously worked producing original scores for horror films.

‘Inhaler’ is a fitting title for the opening track - drawing in the listener like a long, slow intake of breath. It immediately introduces the minimalist style and slow tempo that perseveres throughout much of the album. Gentle piano tinkering provides much of the melody, while Hilary’s vocals are sombre, glistening and heavily coated in reverb. Sometimes she evokes Julee Cruise - best known for her works within the universe of Twin Peaks. The opening notes of ‘Black Rainbow’ even mimic that show’s classic theme.

‘Jesus Said’ is one of the only distinctly rhythmic tracks, with a far more percussive beat than the simple, distant thumps found elsewhere. The lyrics, meanwhile, exemplify the dark, twisted logic that runs throughout - “Give me back my skin, I want to live in it”, she coos. There’s a further sense of spiriting when harps show up on the tracks ‘Limbs’ and ‘Take Him In’, and ultimately this album succeeds as an ominous exercise in atmosphere. 

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