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Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation Announces New Solo Album

The album is out November 20th.

Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation Announces New Solo Album

Montserrat House and Eric Hilton of the legendary duo Thievery Corporation are pleased to announce the Friday, November 20 release of his brand new solo album, The Impossible Silence (pre-order). Serving as Hilton's second release of 2020 behind his debut solo offering Infinite Everywhere, The Impossible Silence is a Director's cut of elegant electronica inspired by vintage film soundtracks of the Sixties and Seventies.

Crafted in solitude at his Winter Palace Studio in DC, the album unspools across 13 atmospheric cuts, a soundtrack to a film that exists in the mind of the composer (and anyone who listens). Making this uniquely spacious and subtle music has always been the most challenging for Hilton but has also been the most rewarding, which is one of the many reasons he titled this work The Impossible Silence. Check out the music video for the album's lead single, "The Impossible Silence," directed by AliZare on YouTube below.

Making a "filmic" record can have its perils; often these efforts can veer towards kitsch or parody. But Eric Hilton's uncanny ability to musically shape shift, ably honed over 25 years of genre-hopping recordings with Thievery Corporation, serves him well on The Impossible Silence. Like a movie, the record flows through a variety of situational moods, at times melancholic, idyllic, while some tracks are slightly foreboding and others just plain groovy. This was intentional. "Not being bound by a real movie, or working for a director, I can control the ebb and flow of the mood throughout," says Hilton. "I didn't want to break the spell, I want the listener to be entranced."

The social and sexual revolutions of the late-Sixties and early-Seventies drove a coming together of the classically trained orchestral musicians, who traditionally scored films, with a new breed of unfettered funk and rock session players, brought in to provide a more contemporary sonic palette. This collision, funded by the large budgets of film studios, drove a unique moment in soundtrack music. Hilton is hugely influenced by this period, with many of the "top shelf" records in his collection filled out by the composers who masterminded these scores.

"I'm very inspired by Armando Trovajoli, Piero Umiliani, Lalo Schifrin, Tony Hatch, Francis Lai and others," he says. "They had all these tools at their disposal and used them to make music that's almost impossible for a person to make now: you would need an orchestra (and a place to record them), you'd need charts for all the musicians, a crew, a huge budget ... this is my attempt to emulate that, obviously not at the same scale, but to evoke that ethos."

Hilton plays most of the instruments on The Impossible Silence and readily admits this album was one of the most challenging projects he's undertaken in his career. "In some ways, making 'The Impossible Silence' reminded me of 'Saudade', which was the hardest Thievery album to record," he says. "The quieter and more delicate the music is, the harder it is to get the balance of everything right."

Although The Impossible Silence is best listened to in its entirety as a set piece, standout tracks are found throughout. The lead single, "Alma de Lisboa," provides a memorable opening to the album, and if sent back via time machine to Ibiza in the 1990's, the track would surely have been in heavy rotation at Cafe Del Mar chillouts. The elegant closing song "La Nuit" features Elin Melgarejo, a multilingual singer who added her talents to three tracks on the 2014 Thievery Corporation album Saudade, and has performed live with the group. "I attempted to write the song in French using Google translate, and she helped greatly, correcting the phrasing and ultimately co-writing the lyrics. Elin's contribution is incredible," says Hilton.

The Impossible Silence is the second of several full-length album projects that Hilton has planned for release over the next year. Despite a 25-year (and counting) legacy, this founding Father of the downtempo electronic music scene isn't leaning on nostalgia. With a level of output that could justifiably be referred to as prolific, he is creating vibrant, jewel-like music that will satisfy faithful Thievery Corporation devotees while expanding the empathic musical horizons of anyone truly willing to listen. The Impossible Silence by maestro Eric Hilton - screen it now at an imagination near you.

Watch the video for "The Impossible Silence" here:

Photo Credit: Neal Ashby

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