Hailing from Ireland, Hilary Woods (former member of JJ72) was brought up in an artistic household on Dublin’s Northside, where she studied film and literature and occasionally attended a fine arts school. Her creative focus was sharpened in 2014, and she began to record music in any space that she could find around the city. She still wrought art through various physical mediums, but her work seemed to revolve around sound as much as any specific visual style. After releasing two acclaimed EPs, she hunkered down in 2017 with an old 8-track recorder in an abandoned flat to build the songs on her first LP.
Woods will release her debut album, "Colt," on June 8 via Sacred Bones. Written and recorded at her home in Dublin and co-produced and mixed by James Kelly (WIFE, Altar of Plagues) in Berlin, it's both an intimate and expansive collection of songs that speak to the emotional adaptations she's developed which help her deal with the obstacles of daily life.
"'Colt' was created as a way to process and make sense of the everyday,” Woods explains. “As a means to speak with inner voices, explore aloneness and understand the complexities of desire. As a vehicle for imaginative flight, as a quest for resilience and connectivity to the outside world, as a medium through which to journey into the present, to temper the mind and inhabit the body."
On her new single, "Inhaler," she conjures a brittle and gorgeous minimalism built upon stark piano riffs, martial beats and atmospheric synths. It brings to mind the crystalline beauty of Grouper or Julianna Barwick. At the heart of the song is an exquisite devastation, an ethereal mourning for lost love and regret set over a series of evocative rhythms and melodies. It's the kind of song that wraps itself around you, fully and completely immersing you in its depths. "Inhaler" possesses a strange persuasion, one with little overt clarity and more than a little emotional ambiguity coursing through its veins. Often disorienting and hypnotic, the track is a complex wonder of ephemeral impressionism.
Of the song and its accompanying video, Woods says that it's "a response to a relenting absence that was constantly present. 'Inhaler' is a song about homesickness, longing; an attempt to find new ways of being in the wake of separation. I directed the video and worked with friends: cinematographer and long-time collaborator Joshua Wright, and dancer/ choreographer Justine Cooper."