By Heather Adamson
Vancouver singer/songwriter Lydia Hol’s first full-length album, Heading North, is a touching soundscape of tender songs paying homage to her literary roots. There is a subtle nature to her melodies giving weight to the lyrics that are equal parts dream and reality. Hol’s music lives within the genres of country, folk, roots and blues. The album weaves an array of instruments throughout its nine tracks resulting in arrangements that elevate the simplicity of each song.
Beginning with “Ammunition,” co-written with Victoria singer/songwriter Mike Edel, the presence of violin and cello provide a welcomed depth that accentuates the song’s grasp. The album’s title track “Heading North” makes the biggest impact with a memorable chorus and a country/roots flare that yearns to be developed further throughout the rest of the album. “Long Road” has an undeniable beauty in its pure delivery, while “Mistress of the Track” takes a detour in its historical tribute to Canadian race horse jockey Ron Turcotte — stepping outside the realm of melody to incorporate recorded live commentary of one of his award winning races.
Heading North is a delicate offering from a burgeoning songwriter who has a way with words that eases and enlightens the listener. The album provides the perfect backdrop to a morning spent curled up with a good book and a warm drink, or do away with the book entirely and gaze out a window while getting lost in the intricacies of Hol’s poetry. Time well spent.Heading North, Lydia Hol