With her jarring opening chord, Heather Hill asks the demanding question: “How long it will be before you’re gone?”
This track marks a strong start to Hill’s debut CD Leuty Station. This Beach singer-songwriter is not shy at all in her approach to her music. Arrangements are full of instrumentation, including a lush string section on the title track, and Hill has the voice to carry this bold debut. Hill eschews the temptation to fall back on romantic ballads to showcase her obvious vocal talents, preferring to tell stories with a much darker outlook, and using her voice to make the emphasis all that much clearer.
The musical arrangements, for the most part, are what you might call muscular. The guitar work of Eddie Paton, bass playing by Russ Boswell and drumming by Paul DeLong are supplemented with a string section, as well as percussion, horns and a 14-piece choir.
One piece that steps out of the box Hill has created on Leuty Station is a light-hearted song called Between the Leather and the Lining. It’s a song about her handbag…yes, her handbag. Along with the clever, but comparatively mundane lyrics, is a dynamite piccolo trumpet solo by Brian O’Kane that pays homage to the Beatles’ Penny Lane.
Heather said she has always been fascinated by the Leuty Lifeguard Station and thought, since there were dozens of paintings using it as the subject, there must be songs about it as well. When she discovered there weren’t, she set out to try and capture the iconic Beach landmark in music, and decided to title her CD after it as well. Her preference is to be out near the station in the quiet of the day when no one else is around. “No one’s at Leuty Station today…and I like it that way.”
Leuty Station will have its official CD launch May 12, 7:30 p.m. at The Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St. W. Admission is $11.50. For more information about Heather Hill, or to purchase a copy of Leuty Station, visit heatherhill.ca.