Lilly Hiatt

REVIEW: Lilly Hiatt “Lately”


Lilly Hiatt — Lately

Lilly Hiatt’s fifth album Lately, released Oct. 15 digitally and through New West Records, is heavy on the brevity with single word song titles and simple, stripped down lyrics and accompaniment. But don’t let the simplicity fool ya—it belies the depth of emotion conveyed in these ten songs.

Born of the pandemic, like many a singer songwriter with time on their hands, Hiatt looked inward and found these songs and pulled them out one by one.

Produced by Hiatt and her drummer Kate Haldrup and recorded by Haldrup at her studio, Death Ladder in Nashville (and mastered by Jim DeMain at Yes Master), the best songs on Lately are stripped down and unpolished. There’s a lonely, slow burn sort of feel that threads its way through each number like regret and cigarette smoke.

The album opens with the track “Simple,” a slow, twangy, country guitar ballad about reuniting with her family after being locked down during the pandemic, and that feeling of going home again.

“Been” is a stripped down funky number with a tinge of psychedelic rock and a nervous restlessness in the lyrics, born of being forced to stay in one place.

With Mike Lopinto on guitar, Robert Hudson on bass, new beau Coley Hinson on guitar, Coley’s dad, Steve Hinson, on pedal steel, and Micah Hulscher on keys Lately holds the full spectrum of emotions and depth, both in the music and lyrics.

Title track “Lately,” is a pop-y number featuring Hulscher on keys. “Peach,” featuring Hiatt’s new beau, Coley Hinson on guitar, opens with a nice rhythm guitar beat.

But “Ride” is scene stealer with its windows-down drive through the desert at dusk feel, Hiatt’s haunting vocals, and a slow, moody, melody about shaking off the loneliness with your beau—the best kind of drive.

The album ends on a high note with “The Last Tear,” breaking with the single word song titles. It starts out with Hiatt’s sweet, syrupy voice mingling with each twang of Steve Hinson’s pedal steel guitar, and rolls up into a crescendo of country rock full of regret and sadness.
“Talking about it just makes me feel small, when will the last tear fall…”

You’ll want to hear this one live amidst dancing bodies, clinking beer bottles and cigarette smoke.

Find tour dates and get your copy here:

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