Hilang Child - Every Mover [CD]
Catalogue No.: BELLA1113CD
Release Date: 8th January 2021
“The greatest thing about being a musician is experiencing it with other people,” says Ed Riman, the Brighton-based Eurasian singer, songwriter and sound-scapist who records as Hilang Child. “Whether that’s playing with others, creating together, sharing a vision, whatever, I just think in all aspects it’s a totally elevated experience when you’re not alone.” Proof rings out with force and feeling on Hilang Child’s superlative second album, ‘Every Mover’, released on Bella Union.
In 2018, Riman delivered a serene, textured debut album in ‘Years’, rich in sound and feeling. Lauren Laverne, Q, MOJO and others lavished praise but the “isolating process” of making the album left Riman hungry to find alternative ways of working. Meanwhile, the “lonely, pressured” aftermath of ‘Years’ found Riman grappling with “rough selfesteem and anxiety issues,” amplified in part by social media’s “fulfilment narratives.” Duly, he set out to navigate and overcome these mindsets, drawing deeply on his own insecurities and those he recognised in others.
These themes converge emphatically on ‘Every Mover’, an album steeped in everyday emotional states and crafted for cathartic, communal performance. Drawing on a rich spread of collaborators, sounds and themes, Riman uses his frustrations as the impetus to transform the brimming promise of ‘Years’ into upfront and expansive new shapes. “I wanted it to sound a bit gutsier than the first album,” he says, succinctly, “heavier and closer to the kind of stuff that hits me when I go to shows or blast music in the car. I started out in music as a drummer playing for pop or beat-driven artists and grew up listening to louder stuff, but a lot of the music I’ve made as Hilang Child has been more ethereal. I wanted to bring it back to a place that feels more ‘me’ and make more of a thing of having big hypnotic drums, aggressive bass, ripping distorted instruments and a general energy to it.”
‘Good To Be Young’ serves swift notice of this leap, its banked synths and twinkling sound clusters leading to an assertion of fresh force when the main beat lands and a congregation of friends - AK Patterson, Paul Thomas Saunders, Dog in the Snow, Ellen Murphy, members of Penelope Isles - unite for the gang-vocal refrains. “It’s all iridescent colour I’m on,” Riman exults, a claim lived up to on the full-flush folktronica of ‘Shenley’. A reflection on spiralling insecurity, ‘Seen The Boreal’ ups the ante again with its monkish chorales, looping samples, spectral woodwinds (from multi-instrumentalist John ‘Rittipo’ Moore, of Public Service Broadcasting and Bastille previous) and ecstatic chorus, Riman transforming a meditation on hindsight’s limiting effects into a spur to look forwards. And surge forwards he does with the glittering synths, spacey guitars and Krautrock propulsion of ‘King Quail’, developed in jam sessions with dream-pop wonder Zoe Mead (Wyldest) in her basement studio.
Brought to a sublime close with ‘Steppe’, the resulting album projects its own epiphanic force. Thankfully, most of the main parts were recorded pre-lockdown between East London, Gateshead, Brighton, Wandsworth and elsewhere, before mixing proceeded remotely. Meanwhile, alongside indie-pop trio OUTLYA’s Will Bloomfield (percussion/coproduction on ‘Play ’Til Evening’), visual design collective Tough Honey (accompanying videos) and other collaborators, Riman’s bond with co-producer JMAC (Troye Sivan, Haux, Lucy Rose) proved crucial. “It felt freeing to work collaboratively and have that push-andpull of ideas,” says Riman. “Even the moments where we didn’t see eye-to-eye made it feel like I wasn’t alone, with someone else working just as passionately on the project.”
LP pressed on red transparent vinyl.
Good To Be Young
Seen The Boreal
The Next Hold
Play 'Til Evening
Anthropic (Cold Times)