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Friday, April 12, 2024

Stories marks another turning point for Hillsburn

Halifax-based indie pop band Hillsburn releases its new six-track EP on the LHM Records label.

Halifax-based indie pop band Hillsburn releases its new EP, Stories, today on LHM Records.

I think the songs ended up exploring a lot of the same themes our songs always have: how hard life is, how the hard parts are mixed up with the good parts, and the things we do to get by.

The six-track album marks another turning point for the four-piece after its original songwriter and guitar player departed in 2020. That left Clayton Burrill to take up the reins as the band’s new songsmith and saw its other members – Rosanna Burrill, Clare Macdonald & Jackson Fairfax-Perry – take on new roles.

In this Q&A, we learn more from Burrill.

You can find out more about Hillsburn and its new album on the band’s website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Spotify.

This interview has been edited.

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

We’re an indie-pop band from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

How do you describe Stories?

The members of Hillsburn: Clayton Burrill (vocals, guitar, synthesizers), Jackson Fairfax-Perry (keyboards, synthesizers), Rosanna Burrill (vocals, bass, guitar, violin) and Clare Macdonald (drums, percussion, vocals). Photo by Jamie Cronick.
The members of Hillsburn: Clayton Burrill (vocals, guitar, synthesizers), Jackson Fairfax-Perry (keyboards, synthesizers), Rosanna Burrill (vocals, bass, guitar, violin) and Clare Macdonald (drums, percussion, vocals). Photo by Jamie Cronick.

Stories came out of the transition we went through after Paul Aarntzen left the band in 2020. We had to reinvent ourselves to an extent. Rosanna learned to play bass and guitar, Clare started singing, and I started writing songs.

The music on the EP is lyrically and sonically in line with our last record, which feels good. The goal for me taking over the writing was to try to make the new songs feel consistent with our older material without explicitly trying to ‘write like Paul.’ I feel like we ended up striking a better balance that way than I might have hoped.

Why did you choose Stories as the album title?

I liked the idea of a short title. Stories is the name of one of the songs, and looking back at the lyrics once they were finished, I realized they were all little stories, with the characters starting in one place and ending up somewhere else.

What was the inspiration for the album? Is there a theme?

There wasn’t an explicit inspiration for the album, actually. We put all of the music together and recorded it before I finished any of the lyrics, so I felt a little panicked trying to put them together, knowing I was holding up the process. I think the songs ended up exploring a lot of the same themes our songs always have: how hard life is, how the hard parts are mixed up with the good parts, and the things we do to get by.

Hillburns' latest EP, Stories, is available now.
Hillburns’ latest EP, Stories, is available now.

What is your favourite song to perform off the album, and why?

I would say Room Across The Hall if we aren’t performing with horns and Truths You Outrun if we are. The horn chart for Truths You Outrun is full-on dynamically, so it generates a lot of energy and gets me excited.

What’s next for Hillsburn?

Rosanna and Jackson just had a baby in October, so we’ve agreed to play things a bit by ear for the time being. I’m looking forward to playing these songs with a horn section. We got to play one show with horns last summer, and it was such a blast.

You can find out more about Hillsburn and its new album on the band’s website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Spotify.

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