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Americana singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt is a relatively new act on the scene, but through with her showing  (just enough) attitude and grit she is making people sit up and take notice of what she has to say. Her passion for music, life and direct approach earn her serious consideration. The East Nashville resident recently went on tour to the West Coast and back with friend of John Moreland (a huge talent himself), and with her teaming up with producer Michael Trent (Shovels & Rope) she knows who to look to for company. 

Trinity Lane refers to an area just off her new apartment, and with songs about love, demons and heartache that sometime follow the former Hiatt and her band soon settled into a solid groove. Musically and otherwise up in St John’s Island, South Carolina as they rehearsed for the album and finally recorded there at Studio Bees. During reconstruction of her life after moving away from a relationship, and not that long after sorting out a toxic drinking habit Hiatt’s torn and troubled mind sought peace, and found it around Trinity Lane. Keeping to herself, Hiatt gathered up her thoughts and sat down to write this intensely personal, autobiographical album. From the music wafting from my speakers Hiatt sounds like she is now fully re-energised.

Unflinching throughout, Hiatt is fuelled by the inspired playing of Trent (backing vocals, keyboards, electric guitar, autoharp, tambourine, shaker, claps) and band members John Condit (lead guitar), Robert Hudson (bass) and Allen Jones (drums) plus a guest or two on selected tracks. With her spirited and in some respect, cavalier approach Hiatt connects with the listener as some of 1980s rock filters through. 

Her songs deal with giving one’s best in a relationship (“All Kinds of People”, “Everything I Had”) and finding at times it is never enough. She also speaks of regret on another occasion when it again didn’t work out (“The Night David Bowie Died”).  While when bored through isolation on “Trinity Lane” she soaks up the surroundings on a night as she sat alone at home resisting the temptation to go out and drink (and fall back down into that dark place). Travelling father afield she speaks of 'been stoned to the bone in Denver, Colorado' on “I Wanna Go Home” and finding solace on the more poppy “Records”. 

“Different, I Guess” doused in pedal steel (Josh Kaler) is another song doomed to failure in the love stakes, and it is the most down feeling song (musically). Admittedly, the tail end of Trinity isn’t as captivating as the earlier songs but there is still a strong case of why you should go give Hiatt a serious listen. Slow burner, “See Ya Latter” finds her left kicking at the concrete, waiting to for her lover to drop by. I feel there are already more songs are already pencilled in for her next record and I pray it wouldn't be long in coming. 

Maurice Hope  

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May 2018

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