Hilary Woods: Colt review – Spell-weaving and delicate
Even when she was a member of the riotously ambitious JJ72, Dublin musician Hilary Woods was the quiet, stoic one – she would observe the mayhem around her as if on the astral plane.
Her debut solo album arrives after a couple of critically acclaimed EPs and continues the spell-weaving effect of delicate compositions, layered instrumentation (piano, strings, field recordings, soft drones, restrained beats), sublime vocals, and lyrics that focus on emotional anguish, loneliness and the vagaries of love.
The stripping back of everything (best exemplified, perhaps, on Take Him In, which repeats the words “take him in for he is good and he is kind and he is mine – don’t be afraid” over a rippling sequence of oriental tinkles) works in Woods’s favour, as she has a shrewd knack for allowing the spaces in between to transmit their own meaning.
Other tracks, such as Inhaler, Kith, Black Rainbow and Prodigal Dog (lyrically, the least abstract on the album – “I heard you returned for my love, with time I’ve toughened up”) underline just how good Woods is at capturing tonal moments and captivating the listener with them.