When I hear a track on the radio, or a friend suggests a song for me to listen to, my first thought is to wonder where this music comes from. And my second thought is to hope that the music is Canadian. I am a huge supporter of Canadian music, and an even bigger advocate for sharing music from our home province of British Columbia with the people around me. It is always a bonus when the music I am excited about is actually good.
Hilary Grist’s album Come & Go is no exception.
Born in Quesnel, B.C., and raised in Maple Ridge, this Vancouver-based indie-pop singer/songwriter is definitely someone to watch out for. While this album is not her first release, nor her most recent, it remains a great listen even a year later.
Just this past June, Grist released her latest album Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over, a combination of music and a children’s book that Grist wrote and illustrated herself with her own whimsical artwork. According to her website, she used the art to create a “soothing, restful experience for the whole family to enjoy together.” Her art and music was inspired by her childhood days on the Gulf Islands of B.C., connecting her music to nature and her family members.
I am not the only person who sees Grist as an up-and-coming musician in the West Coast music scene: her music has captured the attention of critics such as Alan Cross and CBC’s Lana Gay. As well, she’s been featured in television shows such as Grimm, Being Human, and Degrassi. This is a huge feat for this young musician, and I can definitely see why her music would capture the attention of major media outlets: her songs can easily evoke emotion with just a single listen, making her tunes relatable to her audience.
Grist’s sound on Come & Go reminds me of Florence Welch in her Lungs days, as well as a little bit like Hannah Georgas’ self-titled album. Her lyrics are catchy, her voice smooth, and it’s easy to just close your eyes to and smile. I envision myself just driving down a big open highway, sun seeping in through my open windows, blasting the opening track on the album, and leaving everything behind me.
Other songs, such as “Chemical Reaction” and “Fall to Pieces,” are a little bit slower, a little bit more melancholy, but Grist counters this with snapping sound effects and easy staccato beats that counter this feeling and leave you feeling good regardless of what the song’s content is about.
Hilary Grist is not a musician you are going to want to let pass you by. With vocals and an overall sound that is perfect for warm, sunny days, this album will be a fixture in the waning weeks of summer.