This Riot Life, the latest album from Canadian singer, songwriter,
keyboardist, guitarist Veda Hille is an engaging bazaar of
colorful tones, radiating fringes, softly contoured impulses, and
theatrically accented vocals. All songs are written by Veda Hille
and carry a cast of vocal harmonies taxied by ambling guitars, keyboards,
horns, strings, and rhythm sections so perfectly manicured to Hille's
vocal register that the songs take effect immediately. Hille curates
this melodic cast with a gentle hand and a decisive wand that knows
the exact angle and measurements of the melodic accents and impulses
to make the tracks as pristine as conceivably possible.
This Riot Life was commissioned by the Push Festival in Vancouver,
Canada and premiered there on January 28, 2007. Additionally, the
track "Cowper's Folly" from the album was commissioned by
Bill Richardson for his show Bunny Watson, the album's
song "Book Of Saints" is part of the Clare Project, and
the tune "Soapland Serenade" is featured in the show Sexual
Practices Of The Japanese by Theater Replacement. The record
was made possible through the assistance of the Canada Music Fund
and the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts, therefore
this album has a predilection for academic leanings and appeal mostly
to music and theater students more so than it does to the general
masses. Still, there is something Bjork-like in the artistic
angles of the tunes and a storytelling voicing relatable to Lisa
The upward streams of "Lucklucky" are jovial, while the
neurotic angles of "Book Of Saints" have an avant-pop
penchant. The echoing trembles of "Ace Of The Narazene"
are hedged with a modern rock spark that forms boiling chord rotations
which are defused on the subsequent "A Shining Forth."
The angles in the string arrangements for "Oh Come On"
and the dotting piano keys of "The Moon" give these numbers
a dramatic stage show air as the scrolling motions of the other
instruments infuse acrobatic shapes across the melodic lines. The
track "Sleepers" has sizzling horn arrangements that elevate
and release sequentially through the melodic movements, while the
wispy lines of "Soapland Serenade" and "Cowper's
Folly" are etched with vocal spreads that do the elevating
and bud delicate slopes which are aurally complementing. "Rose
Of Sharon" is enveloped in exotic tones and gypsy-taut rhythms.
It is one of the most exciting tracks on the album causing the album
to peak at this point and then drift into slow moving turns on "Constance"
and "This Spring." The final track "The Trees"
has radiating horns and marching rhythmic rolls that motivate the
vocal rises to a sky-high length.
Veda Hille's latest release This Riot Life is an avant-pop
adventure that can be likened to works by Des Ark's Aimee
Argote and Lonely Dear's Emil Svanängen. Providing
the vocal harmonies on the album are Ida Nilsen, Selina
Martin, and Maiko Bae. Other musicians who perform on the
recording include: Patsy Klein - flute and glockenspiel, Martin
Walton - bass, Peggy Lee - cello, Jesse Zubot -
violin, AK Cooper - clarinet and bass clarinet, Ford Pier
- guitar and autoharp, Sky Brooks - drums and percussion, Barry
Mirochnick - drums and banjo, Shaun Brodie - trumpet,
Jeremy Berkman - trombone, Joanna Schulz - french horn,
and Sal Ferreras - vibraphone, marimba and percussion. Veda
Hille culls nature-made sonnets with dancing keys that shift the melodic
variables into an album of engaging imagery. Hille's artistic training
is evident in the recording, and her instinct for orchestral treatments
and poetic lines are perfectly matched to her vocal register. She
channels psychic sensibilities in her songwriting, which make these
tunes ones that she alone could come with and envision their execution.
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