The Irish musician Hilary Woods makes stark, swirling, atmospheric music. She’s a singer-songwriter in the most literal sense, but she wraps her voice in layers of muffled ambient sound, creating a mythic, flickering aesthetic for it. In 2018, Woods released her debut album Colt, a deep and enveloping piece of work, on Sacred Bones, a label that absolutely suits her whole style. And she’s just announced that she’ll follow it up later this year with Birthmarks, another album on the same label.
Woods was pregnant when she made Birthmarks, and she recorded with Norwegian noise producer Lasse Marhaug, traveling back and forth between Galway and Oslo to put it together. First single and album opener “Tongues Of Wild Boar” is a heavy, intense track that surrounds Woods’ voice with slow, clanging percussion and mournful violins. In the video, which Woods directed herself, we see images of human viscera and grainy black-and-white footage of feet pushing something heavy up a hill.
In a press release, Woods says, “For me, ‘Tongues of Wild Boar’ is fierce, pliable and incessant. Navigating emotionally charged states of discomfort and becoming, it is a song deeply lodged in the body that yearns to surface for air and escape its own shadow.” Below, check out the “Tongues Of Wild Boar” video and the Birthmarks tracklist.
01 “Tongues Of Wild Boar”
02 “Orange Tree”
03 “Through The Dark, Love”
04 “Lay Bare”
05 “Mud And Stones”
06 “The Mouth”
07 “Cleansing Ritual”
08 “There Is No Moon”
Birthmarks is out 3/13 on Sacred Bones.