The Hill, the third album from Paddy Hanna, rotates magnanimously between soothing, ethereal instrumental tracks and jilting folk songs chock-full of clanging percussion and bouncing grooves. With this in mind, it becomes a very binary project, but one that is deliberately so. Each of aforementioned instrumentals, like ‘Last of Their Kind’ or ‘The Hill’, does its bit in neutralising the brooding evil of tracks like ‘Cannibals’ or ‘Sinatra’, which both sound like the result of ferrying the dead across the sea, the mythologised Charon singing shanties on the journey.
In collaboration with the rhythm section of his compatriots Girl Band, Paddy Hanna cultivates a sound that pieces together elements of folk with tenets of punk spirit. From one track to the next, mantras of airy wails flicker in and out of each other, submerging themselves in the intimate twiddling of nylon string guitars and droning cellos, before re-emerging a track or two later to bolster a singalong chorus.
The Hill has moments of exhilarating glory but others of drawling lull. It’s the sort of project that may fulfil the greatest needs of one listener yet slip by unnoticed, through perceived banality, to the next.
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