It says much about the rich diversity of Brighton’s music scene that artists as well travelled as Amy Hill should choose to make this ‘little seaside town’ their home. Of course, Hill is not the first antipodean émigré to have fallen for our fair city’s sultry charms, as those Nick Cave dwellers amongst us will no doubt testify, but as the folk-country output of Ms Hill is likelier pressed from good apples than Bad Seeds, it’s safe to assume there’s space enough in Brighton for both to thrive.
And thrive they do. Or at any rate, Hill does, particularly if her upcoming album launch at the Brunswick is anything to go by. When not performing the songs herself, the woman behind the soon to be released ‘Place of Mind’ may be more familiar to patrons of the Brunswick’s monthly folk night for her role as protagonist and hostess, in which capacity she has championed the merits of various local and folkish performers for the last three years.
After such a long period of philanthropic dedication however, the time has finally come for the spotlight to shine on the singer herself. Despite the promise of such undivided attention, it appears Hill may well remain immune to any bouts of big-headedness. “The best thing for me is the connection I can make with the audience when I perform my songs” she stated a while back, “Hearing their interpretations keeps me wanting to write and perform more.”
And write more she has, as those attending the Amy Hill Launch Party will surely discover for themselves.
The real discovery however, particularly for the uninitiated, is that in Hill’s fragile yet spiky brand of 70’s-flecked folk, there resides a combination of melody and lyricism reminiscent of Joni Mitchell in her ‘Ladies of the Canyon’ heyday. From the self-aware and cynical strains of ‘Cuppa Tea’ to the jaunty and defiant bounce of ‘Sparkling Eyes’, there is something distinctly authentic and heartfelt about much of Hill’s oeuvre. Having led one reviewer to declare that her “effortless, pure and pristine vocals paired with catchy melodies have an almost spiritual way of allowing audiences to forget their worries”, it would appear that, in the depths of one of the coldest winters in recent memory, the sun-drenched strains of Amy Hill may bring a little much needed light into the lives of those attending this long awaited launch.
8pm, £5 on the door, £4 in advance, (includes signed copy of new album ‘Place of Mind’ on arrival).
Tickets from wegottickets.com
Words by Ed KIRBY