Arts+Culture

Album Review: Beauty In The Blue finds beauty in the journey

Album Review: Beauty In The Blue finds beauty in the journey

Sarah Hiltz takes listeners on her latest Canadiana inspired trip.
By Heather Ellick

Sarah Hiltz is a Toronto-based songwriter magnifying the splendour of new-age, alternative Canadian folk music with the November release of her fifth album: Beauty In The Blue.

Co-produced by Sarah and Kevin Howley, Beauty in the Blue is  made up of “songs and stories culled from [Hiltz’s] multiple journeys across Canada as a travelling musician on cross-country Via Rail passenger train, ‘The Canadian’.” In a sense, listening to this is like hearing the soundtrack of a long journey.

Hiltz describes the album as containing the unique tone of “both pain and beauty, suffering and art,” and sure to catch the hearts and ears of many. Upon first listening to this album, it displays a very peaceful, yet lonely feeling. These features are enhanced by mostly relaxed background vocals and instruments. With Hitlz’s distinct, but delicate voice there is no need for compensation of any intricate song patterns; which is wonderful.

One song that boldly stands out is “How to Pour Whiskey for Strangers”. The chorus show a special form of poetic – and genuine – loneliness:

I’m staring into faces that I don’t know / C’mon look me in the eyes; I need to feel somebody’s soul / I can see you keep your secrets hidden underneath that hat / Won’t you tell me everything about that?

Hiltz presents many different emotions consistent with the genre and themes of the album. Some songs are quite relaxed, and others are almost eerie and very thought-provoking. The  song “No Proof” see’s Hiltz tackle the issue of not being able to ensure one’s own happiness but expressing that no person should dwell over things they cannot change. It recreates interactions between her and the people she has met but never got to know.

Sarah Hiltz is an enticing artist well-worth listening to. Her music is a combination of new and old folk capable of leaving a listener in an entirely different state of mind. Beauty in the Blue comes highly recommended.

Glen Ess

February 1st, 2018

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