The ukulele is arguably one of the most underrated and underappreciated instruments. It is small but powerful; can be used in several different genres of music; and can uplift even the most sombre of souls, if it’s played right. It is for this reason that it’s so exciting to hear about an EP that promises to put the ukulele at its front and centre, and therefore I had high hopes for Chimney Hill by Toronto artist Cacia Gillian. Unfortunately, upon listening to it, I was left more than a little disappointed.
The EP opens up with a track called “Ad Infinitum.” Though it starts off as an extremely catchy, charming, and bubbly tune, it begins to sound a little too repetitive, both instrumentally and lyrically. It is still a good song to listen to when in need of a pick-me-up, and is perfect for those wishing to hear a much more upbeat version of Courtney Barnett.
“Lazy Love” is a lot less catchy than the first song, and will actually make you feel a tad tired and lazy as you listen to it. It’s a little on the boring side, the vocals are weak, and the ukulele chords sound almost exactly the same as the first track… and pretty much the rest of the album for that matter. Thankfully, its lyrics are quirky and excellently written, as are the lyrics of all the tracks on this EP, so it is still somewhat enjoyable.
“All In the Eyes” is the best track on the album, sounding similar to a jukebox sound from the 1960s. Her vocals majorly improve on this song, sounding as though they belong on Broadway. Instrumentally, the song is the most unique on the album, and is even catchier than the first track. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the last two songs.
“The Waiter” and “Oh, November” are slower than the rest of the songs, and have flat vocals at times. Though the lyrics are still well-written, the songs as a whole are simply just not pleasant to listen to. That being said, if you focus more on lyrics than on the tune and vocals of the songs, you may enjoy them.
Overall, “Chimney Hill” is an album for those wishing to listen to something extremely simple and pleasantly strange.
Written by Franca G. Mignacca