"Machines & Animals" By Kerchief (Cleveland, TN)/Indie Rock/Released July 2015
A band is a team. A group of individuals who bring their unique skills and experience together to chase after a common goal. You write together, you promote together, you play shows together, you struggle together. After finding success with that kind of support system, going at it alone can be a frightful experience. This is where Brittany Hill found herself and, thus far, she’s passing the trial with flying colors.
After a seven year run in the all female indie rock group Vanity Theft, Hill formed her solo project Kerchief. After releasing the “Demonstrations” EP in 2013, Hill entered the studio with producer Matty Amendola to complete a full length LP thus titled “Machines And Animals”. A fairly stark departure from the electro-dance rock of Vanity Theft, “Machines And Animals” pulls more from the melodic side of 90′s alternative rock. The production and instrumentation is polished but not over done. And Hill’s smooth, husky voice delivers her lyrics with secure confidence and emotion.
The big focus with the album’s overall sound is the songwriting. The instrumental compositions aren’t overly crowded which allows the vocal melodies to shine. Hill has a penchant for earworm hooks that make the songs easy to sing along to while the lyrics are poetic and seemingly draw from the songwriter’s direct experience. However they’re not abstract and are relatable to the common listener.
Hill’s seasoned experience as a musician is evident in every song on the album. Upbeat tracks such as “Caught Up” and “Ready to Move” are catchy and fun but dynamic with a proper balance between all instruments involved. Slower tracks like “Out of Focus” and “Weekend” highlight the emotion in their lyricism with their more stripped down approach. Album highlight and promo single “Milk & Honey” showcases Hill’s most emotive vocal performance of the album with atmospheric keys, backing vocals and percussion making it one of “Machines and Animals” most unique tracks. “Jack London”, another album favorite, strikes a perfect balance between the soft melodies and upbeat rhythms of Kerchief’s sound. Wrapped in a polished blanket of tasteful production, the song sound primed for radio play.
“Machines and Animals” serves as proof of Brittany Hill’s ability to stand as a solo artist. Catchy without cliche, deep while remaining fun, and a sound with diverse appeal for causal music fans and discerning ears alike. Also with the more recently released “Corner House” EP, Hill shows that Kerchief’s sound can also be quite diverse with its dabbling in more electronic elements. With another full length release in the works there’s plenty more to come from the Ohio native that many listeners will surely be looking forward to.