New West Records
Swaggeringly Good 21st Century Guitar Driven Rock.
Over the course of her career, Lilly Hiatt has steadily developed a strong musical identity and everything good comes together on “Walking Proof” to create her best album yet – yes, even better than the breakthrough “Trinity Lane”, according to these ears.
Those who have been fortunate enough to see Lilly live over the last couple of years have born witness to the development of a fuller, confident guitar-driven sound – and that comes over more than anything on “Walking Proof” – this album rocks – in all the right ways.
“Rae” is a reflective opener with gloriously melancholy riffs over a gorgeous melody and thoughtful loud-soft dynamics throughout.
“P-Town” is air guitar boogie heaven from the off, yet has a vocal vitality and nicely placed and played bottleneck guitar that it’s impossible not to move your ‘dancing parts’ along to.
“Little Believer” moves the listener along to Alabama, lyrically at least with a thumping staccato rhythm and descending Pearl Jam guitar lines.
“Some kind of drug” sets a minor chord Nirvana-ish guitar against a reflective and resigned tale of past relationships; again, the arrangement is sublime – there’s loads going on, but the playing and production is balanced and powerful.
“Candy Lunch” takes a quieter, melodic turn across Lilly’s relationship with the disparate parts and people of her home city.
Title track “Walking Proof” is a stomp-box led Irish tinged statement of intent……..
“I could tell you
That it’s easy
But that wouldn’t be the truth”
things may turn sour, but our heroine is “Walking Proof” that you can get out there and still score little victories.
“Drawl” – “You’re beautiful and you don’t know it” is a message of reassurance support and strength …… “Don’t you ever lose that drawl again”.
“Brightest Star” leaps out of the speakers and is the 2020 summer anthem – positive, life-affirming and if you don’t want to head bang to this, I’m afraid you’re just no fun or plain dead.
“Never play guitar” references the joys of having noisy neighbours, being a noisy neighbour and realising that
“I can’t write a song
If I never play guitar”
“ Move” takes a shuffle rhythm and spacey twangy country guitar – again, thematically it’s about getting on with stuff’n’shit. Life’s there – get on with it.
“Scream” takes things down a notch to round things off with a note of defiance and independence that musically builds and throws off the past and reaches off with a fierce realism into a limitless future.
Lilly and co have joined all the dots on this album – from the colour synaesthesia of the Kim Radford cover, through the thoughtful pacing, to the epic yet sympathetic Lincoln Parish production, plus guest appearances from Amanda Shires, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Luke Schneider and a certain Mr John Hiatt – it’s all there, wrapped up in an album of huge strength, fragile beauty and immense power.
Wow, I say ….. WOW!
Review courtesy Rock Photographer #1 …… Nick Barber. https://www.flickr.com/photos/efsb
Released 27th March 2020
Buy it here – https://store.newwestrecords.com/collections/lilly-hiatt-walking-proof