Trinity Lane by Lilly Hiatt on New West Records

Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Holy shit! Feeenominal! I didn’t have any plans to review this right away, but after seeing Lilly and her fine band last night at Club 603 in Baltimore, MD, I was compelled to do so. I hadn’t heard the material off of this album yet. Hearing the songs live and for the first time last night, I immediately connected and recognized their greatness, instantly. 
As I said in my concert review from last night, Lilly reminds me of a cross between Liz Phair and Lucinda Williams. Both of the aforementioned artists can sing and be a little rough around the edges. Also, both are super honest song writers and tell it like it is, warts and all. Add Lilly to that shortlist. Her lyrics are so powerful and so well delivered that you become the emotions that Lilly is describing. The sadness can be so raw that it stings and can make you cry. Yes, you. 
The song, Everything I Had (Track 4), resulted in the consumption of ten tissues. I started really producing a lot of tears. I was alone, listening to this song, crying. The harder I tried to stop, the more tears produced. But I digress, this is a beautifully sad and revealing song about heartbreak and being called “crazy”:
Word on the street 
You got yourself a new girl 
I would’ve given anything 
To light up your world 
“You women go crazy” 
That’s what you fuckers say 
For loving someone the right way 
Let me tell ya something 
I’ve had it up to here with that 
CHORUS: 
Cuz I gave you everything, everything that I had 
I gave you everything, everything that I had 
I’m the one getting angry 
So the night’s on my back 
But you’re saying nothing at all 
So cut me some slack 
I spent all those nights feeling so guilty 
For letting you near the ugliest parts of me 
I think it’s time I stop feeling stupid for that 
CHORUS 
I thought you called cuz you wanted to see me 
You were just calling because I was easy 
You know that I love you, how dare you do something like that 
CHORUS
Lilly states so emphatically, “I gave you everything I had” and that’s what you say to me? That’s what you do to me? This song is a sheer stunner. Once the song revealed the incredible background vocals, I defy you not to cry. It’s impossible. By the way, the backing vocals were provided by Shovels & Rope. 
Different I Guess (Track 8) is another bittersweet love song/breakup song. Lilly intertwines both of these conflicting themes brilliantly. Lilly really explains how they met and the emotions that were present then and also very accurately and honestly described the deterioration of the once solid relationship. The lyrics are sung so well, this is another one that is a tear jerker.
The opening track, All Kinds Of People, starts out with this spacey ,atmospheric guitar riff that totally takes me to another place. The song then settles into some of the most lovely melodies I have heard in a while. This is another song about heartbreak and not getting what is needed out of a relationship: 
Spend a lot of time loving all kinds of people 
But all kinds of people won’t care for your heart 
I love you like you love the ocean, and that’s where you’re going 
And it’s ripped me apart 
Just one in the long list of amazing songs on Trinity Lane.
Listening to this album was a pleasant surprise. This could be one that makes a lot of future “best of” lists. I believe it is that good. Not just good for the year, but good for years to come. This is some deep, heavy stuff that transcends generations. Strong statements, I know, but I stand by my words. Come back in five years and you will see I was right.
Listen to Trinity Lane on Bandcamp
Buy Trinity Lane on Lilly’s website

 

 

 

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