Taken from “Birthmarks”, out March 13th via Sacred Bones.
Hilary Woods’ “Birthmarks” has been a labor of intensity and intuition, written over the course of two years. Recorded whilst heavily pregnant between Galway and Oslo in the winter of 2019, Woods explores the oscillating and volatile processes of selfhood and becoming, hidden gestational growth, and the birthing of the Self, amidst continuous social and personal change.
“Birthmarks” is a record that hunts for ways in which to revisit and caress wounds left by the memory of their scars. In its mystery and attentiveness to the art of alchemy and the world of the unseen, it is a journey through textural fog and feral density that gives way to passages of voracious sonic exorcism and poetic healing. Its eight songs traverse planes of visceral physicality, stark tender space, and breathtaking introspective beauty.
Spurred on and crafted by the impulse to create a more corporeal sonic tendon for her songs to inhabit, Woods took her vision and home recordings to Norwegian experimental noise producer and filmmaker Lasse Marhaug. The collaboration proved rare and fruitful and lies at the heart of this record. Field recordings, analogue bass synthesizers, hushed vocals, and the breath are underpinned with heavy noise processing, fierce and wide cello, rich percussion, sable saxophone, and electronics.
“Birthmarks” is inspired and informed by ideas of inner transmutation in the face of anxiety, post-war Japanese and wet-plate photography, early music, the secret life of trees, wolves, drone, the drawings of Francis Bacon, the images of Francesca Woodman, the films of Chris Marker, the experiential collapse of community, and the power of the lone human voice. It is a deeply powerful and enigmatic record that ultimately transcends its disquiet roots.
Hilary Woods is an Irish music and visual artist from Dublin’s Northside. She is signed to Sacred Bones Records NYC.
Hilary focused on painting at fine art school before undertaking a degree in literature and a masters in film from Trinity College Dublin. In 2014 she self – released her EP “Night”, which was recorded nomadically in and around Dublin city in whatever free space could be found. After launching Night with three sold out dates in The Boys School in Smock Alley Theatre Dublin, Woods embarked with her then band on a string of live shows both at home and abroad accompanied by her film installation of the same name. Her follow up EP “Heartbox” (2016) was made available on 7″vinyl from Rough Trade London, whilst 2017 was spent writing songs at home and reconnecting with her first instrument – the piano, which culminated in her debut solo full length record “Colt“. “Colt” was written and self- recorded at home before being brought to Berlin to be mixed and co-produced by James Kelly (WIFE, Alter of Plagues) in the Winter of 2017, it was released on Sacred Bones Records in June 2018.