Hilary Scott is no stranger to making music. Already a seasoned musician, Scott is releasing her 9th album, a fantastic EP by the name of Still. Blending a bit of alt-country, singer-songwriter, pop, blues, and a slight tinge of folk, Hilary Scott and The New County Line, is ready to win over your heart, and your eardrums. Are you ready to give this collection of songs a listen? Scott has already shared the stages with the likes of Tanya Tucker, Little Feat and Beth Orton, a great accomplishment and honor.
Starting off the album is “Untitled,” a perfect introduction to Hilary Scott and The New County Line. Starting with Scott and a blissfully played piano, it’s reminiscent of a female Ryan Adams. Every note and vocal tone seems carefully chosen as to not stray away from the track. Scott’s voice may be a tiny bit soft, but she carries it well by showing an exquisite range and poise.
Heading into “Labor of Love,” the record starts to take on a jaunty tone, which is a nice segway for the other songs on the album. Scott’s voice is infectious and to put it no other way, it is simply gorgeous. “The labor of life is not the labor of love,” she sings right before slight bells chime in behind her, also accompanied by a noticeable organ.
“Fighting Odds (Take What You Get),” is up next, and a nice treat. The softly picked guitar enters the song as Scott’s voice creeps in slowly and quietly. Her voice gains in vocal range, loudness and tone as the drums start to make their way into the track. The elements come together to create a beautiful piece of work that will have the listener urgently awaiting what the rest of the EP sounds like.
“Hallelujah,” is a surprising track to appear on the album. At first listen, you wouldn’t even think it was a cover of the classic Leonard Cohen song that was also beautifully done by the late Jeff Buckley. There have been a lot of artists that have tried to cover this song in the past, and have either done it poorly or it has gone completely unremarkable. Hilary Scott and The County Line do the most stunning cover since Jeff Buckley covered the tune on 1994’s Grace. That my friends, is possibly one of the biggest compliments that one can get as a musician. Scott’s voice is flawless, smooth, sleek and seductive as the carefully strummed guitar and melodic piano fills the space around her.
As all must things come to an end, the final and title track, “Still,” closes out the album. Coming in with a soft strummed and plucked guitar and Scott’s harmonious voice, will send chills down your spine. The haunting song is then filled in with a piano for a greater part of the song. Midway the keys become a bit heavier, as does Hilary Scott’s voice. Drums make their entrance into the mix, and Hilary Scott and The New County Line really start to take it away. Be prepared to hit the repeat button on your player already.
Hilary Scott and The County Line’s Still, is a standout album of the year. This is the making of a classic. A stunning record that knows no boundaries and is the perfect listen on an Autumn day…or any day for that matter. Do yourself a favor and seek out more of Hilary Scott and The County Line. You will not be disappointed. You can quote me on that.
Review by Melissa Nastasi
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)