After performing and recording with The Snow throughout NYC for six years, Hilary joined The Bushwick Book Club - which invites musicians to write and perform original songs inspired by selected books.
A few tracks were co-written and performed at the book club with Dylan Nowik of Steady Sun - who also helped engineer, performed on and mixed the album. The rest were composed independently of the book club - simply extracted from the gluttonous jaws of life. Among them are a Bossa Nova-inflected meditation on the making of an omelette, inspired by Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking; a plaintive country shuffle about an earthquake; and a gypsy jazz ode to a charming and complicated man in Brooklyn at the turn of the century.
A handful of long-time musical friends gathered on a beautiful leafy hilltop in Putnam County, New York in June of 2016 to record the album. The songs give voice to an inward journey, evoked by the natural world and the human animals within it. The album as a whole represents this journey as a completed cycle of the self.
released January 28, 2017
“Secrets of Birds”
Matt Brandau: electric bass, upright bass
Mike Cohen: guitar
Hilary Downes: vocals, piano, percussion
lead guitar on “The Owl” and “The Gist”
additional guitar on “Masters of the Table” and “The Word”
backing vocals on “Deep Well” and “The Word”
Karl Meyer: violin
Jeffrey Schaeffer: drums
Sara Stalnaker: cello
Pierre de Gaillande: percussion on “Hearts Plateau”
Recorded by Pierre de Gaillande and Dylan Nowik at California Hill Studios in Carmel, New York, and by Dylan Nowik at The Dekalb Palace in Brooklyn, New York.
Mixed by Dylan Nowik
Mastered by Chicky Reeves at Sublime Recording Studios, London, UK
Photos by Naomi White
Assisted by Ethan Christy
Styling by Laura Escalante
Hair and Makeup by Katie Wedlund
Album Design by John Leamy
Photos shot at California Hill, Carmel, New York, 2016
All songs by Hilary Downes (c 2017 BMI)
“The Gist,” music and lyrics by Hilary Downes and Dylan Nowik
"Masters of the Table" music by Hilary Downes and Dylan Nowik
“The Word,” music by Hilary Downes and Dylan Nowik