Hilary Grist | Imaginings

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Pop: Folky Pop Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Solo Female Artist
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by Hilary Grist

Quirky collection of songs; piano and melotron to marching band and acoustic guitar; house keys and metal objects to orchestral arrangements and cabaret.
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Stick of Dynamite
4:00 album only
2. Right For You
5:13 album only
3. This is the Year
3:29 album only
4. Tall Buildings
3:30 album only
5. Back in Town
3:46 album only
6. About You
4:37 album only
7. Something Beautiful
3:26 album only
8. A Little While
4:03 album only
9. Just Imagine
3:38 album only
10. Horizon
3:13 album only
11. Better
4:54 album only
12. Save You For Last
4:52 album only


Album Notes
You can’t cheat destiny.

From the moment we’re born, every human being has an essence; a vitality that defines them. If we’re lucky we can shape our future, we steer our course through life; ensuring we fulfil that certainty. In the case of Vancouver, B.C.-based chanteuse Hilary Grist though, that predetermination has revealed itself to be one hell of a blessing.
“It’s actually kind of strange that I became a musician,” notes the silken-voiced pianist. “I didn’t grow up in an overly musical household. My dad is a doctor and my mom was a teacher who both love and appreciate music. But me...a musician?”

As inevitability would dictate—and a birthing nurse instantly noticed—however, Grist’s pristinely elongated digits would prove the perfect accoutrement to her aural charm. Placed into piano lessons at three, Grist confirmed her future as a lifelong musician, chasing the notes of perfection at Vancouver’s Capilano University Jazz Studies Program. There, her inherent musicality eventually garnered a degree in voice and piano whilst personal tastes included discoveries of country, folk and classical genius commingling with pilfering a sibling’s musical collection, revealing adoration for popular music’s greatest luminaries. From The Beatles and Pink Floyd to Norah Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Chopin and Beethoven, she knows her stuff.

The result of this intertwining series of events and preparation culminates in Grist’s third independent outing Imaginings, which is her debut full length offering. A lushly melodic, sophisticated and innately dynamic union of her absorption of diverse influences such as pop, jazz, cabaret, country, folk, cabaret and orchestral music, Imaginings finds Grist capitalizing on years of personal experience, professional acumination and a congenital adoration of harmony, melody and rhythm.

Exploiting a vast array of instruments to accomplish her goal, Imaginings features everything from piano and melotron to marching band and acoustic guitar, house keys and metal objects—for percussion—in order to substantiate its impact. Fundamentally, Imaginings is as instrumentally eclectic as its incorporation of styles.

“I love all kinds of styles of music so I wanted my album to reflect that,” admits Grist. “Songs like ‘Stick Of Dynamite’ have a dangerous, Supertramp-styled feel while ‘Better’ has a lush solo piano and voice backed by a KD Lang-esque orchestral arrangement. It varies quite a bit.”

Such an achievement is no small feat. Working on Imaginings with co-producer Mike Southworth and guests including noted film scorer Don MacDonald who assisted with its fetching orchestral arrangements, Grist is duly proud of the final product.

“Imaginings was a labour of love,” she beams. “It spans a lot of experiences, shifts, ups and downs, explorations, evolutions and influences. I’m really proud and happy with the result. The record spans songs that I wrote dating back from five years ago all the way to the present, so I chose what I believe to be my best work of that period. It feels like a reflection of my life over that time: things I have experienced and ways I have grown as a person and with my place in the world.”
Exploring themes including love, loss, gratitude, solace, humour and optimism, Imaginings not only gives context to Grist’s intense musical knowledge but is reflective of her engaging personality.

“I hope people feel like everything’s alright when they listen to these songs, which are the beautiful release that comes from experiencing sadness; the chance to start again. There is a lot of bittersweet sentiment but I hope there’s some playfulness too. It’s not all dark. There’s beauty in the mystery of love.”

“There’s a trajectory of an ended relationship on this album,” she adds. “Break-up, heartbreak, rebound, new love again, a sense of place with the city where I live, a hopefulness, sense of gratitude, wonder about life and positive energy. There’s a sense of humour that pokes fun at it all.”

Garnering a devout fan base across Canada thanks to her natural charm, enviable ability and unforgettable compositions, Grist’s work has resulted in no less than innumerable trips across the nation in support of Imaginings generating consistent radio rotation, a slot on campus radio’s Top 30 and features from a variety of CBC radio programs and CD compilations.

While Grist is gracious of her accomplishments and aspires to see Imaginings attain even greater status, she intimately notes that the joy of creating and anticipation of seeing others garner emotional support and substance from her efforts is one of the most substantial rewards of her music.

“I write when I feel inspired about things in life like love and mystery or just funny things. I like to be playful and not limit my writing to just the deep dark stuff. Imaginings is a reflection of all that and I just hope that people feel better from hearing my music; that it gives them something that they need.”



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