LILLY HIATT – ” Walking Proof ” Best Albums Of 2020

Posted: April 30, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , ,

Walking Proof

Lilly Hiatt’s excellent new album? Well, she is just so consistent in her approach. While the songs aren’t repetitive by any stretch, they are all built on a tasty guitar lick before Lilly’s voice hooks me like a marlin as she paints these vignettes of good times and bad. Overall, this album is a little less personal than Trinity Lane and has a sound that leans a little more to the rock side than the Americana side.

“Don’t you hate when people say, ‘It is what it is,’” Lilly Hiatt sings in “P-Town.” But there’s nothing left to fate on the songwriter’s Walking Proof, a deliberate record of tight jangle-rock songs and ethereal ballads. Like “P-Town,” “Brightest Star” mines R.E.M. Monster-era guitars, while the hypnotic “Drawl” is a meditation on self-repair. In “Little Believer,” she tells a tale of neglect with an author’s attention to detail (“A man caught a shark and he set it free/I started clapping, and he laughed at me”). Hiatt found her voice on 2017’s Trinity Lane; here, she fine-tunes her instrument into the sound of a new Nashville.

The album has a few timely tracks for our self-isolation. P-Town tackles a shitty day with humor and exasperation. Candy Lunch wants you to be able to deal with the shit we can’t control; make the best of the situation. Drawl wants us to find the beauty in the simple things; something I have been trying to do these last couple of weeks. Hiatt continues to cement her place at the table of the best songwriters around these days. She is as consistent as they come.

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Lilly Hiatt’s songs are disarmingly personal and immensely endearing, even when she’s singing about fucking up—which is pretty often. There’s an almost parasocial element to Hiatt’s song writing: Her voice is like that of an old friend who’s perpetually in various stages of getting her shit together. Hiatt’s fourth album, Walking Proof, forms something of a thematic trilogy with her last two albums: 2015’s Royal Blue, a portrait of a relationship in its death throes, and 2017’s harder, darker Trinity Lane, which depicted its immediate aftermath. Hiatt spent both albums seeking solace and guidance for her troubles everywhere she could, from family to her favourite records. On Walking Proof, she’s emerged wiser and more confident, ready even to dispense advice of her own. She also finds herself in full command of her broad stylistic palette, melding influences as disparate as backwoods country and garage punk into a cohesive signature sound. There are a couple of lingering references to Hiatt’s past relationship problems. But when, in the hauntingly stark closer “Scream,” she claims, “I swear to God I’m done with him,” it’s convincing this time.

Released March 27th, 2020
Musicians:
Lilly Hiatt: vocals, guitar
John Condit: guitar
Robert Hudson: bass, mandolin
Kate Haldrup: drums
Lincoln Parish: guitar, keys
Travis Goodwin: keys

Guests:
Aaron Lee Tasjan: guitar on “Little Believer,” vocals on “Never Play Guitar”
John Hiatt: vocals on “Some Kind of Drug”
Amanda Shires: vocals and fiddle on “Walking Proof,” vocals on “Drawl”
Luke Schneider: pedal steel on “Move”

All songs written by Lilly Hiatt

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