The Hills Are Old Songs

by RW Hedges

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about

The Hills Are Old Songs is RW Hedges`Wonderfulsound follow-up to 2018’s similarly evocatively titled The Hunters In The Snow. The new album once again finds RW Hedges musically partnered with his childhood friend, and Wonderfulsound label mate, Luca Neiri. Holed up in their shack, staked out in No Man’s land. Spending a Summer surrounded by books and fairy lights. Discussing technique and intent by evening campfires. Lyrics written on endless paper rolls, and edited down, a la Kerouac`s magnum opus. Recording as they went, with the two providing all accompaniment, the guest bar pedal steel of Matt Allwright.


While its predecessor paid homage to the Easy-Listening of the 1950s and 60s this work imagines the American West of 1877. The year the phonograph was invented. Gunfighter ballads dance with Spanish-leaning guitars on Americana travelogues. Where dreams of the US of A offer wide open spaces and a change of fortune - for the better - on the horizon. Cowboys sing-along to bar room hoe downs. Broken hearts head for the border. Planning getaways somewhere warmer, somewhere South. Still harbouring visions of mythical loves. In places the album`s bittersweet balladry recalls the classic swoon of Bacharach and David. The couplets and harmonies of classic Beatles. Pre-Rubber Soul. In others, it`s Lennon`s later songs of jealously and apology. A largely acoustic arrangement for six-strings, voice and brushed drums. Though, allowing for the odd electric solo, Ocarina, Celeste or Galician harp.


True to the album`s title, its closing track, The Westerners, recounts a tale of gold-greedy, West pushing prospectors. Perhaps equating them with modern narrow-minded “patriots”.

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released August 23, 2019

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