Veda Hille Return of the Kildeer

Although Veda Hille has been around with eccentric, lush pop melodies for a while, this release is getting some more-than-usual hype due to the fact it’s being released by Andy Partridge’s (of the seminal XTC) own label. Comprised of songs previously composed for stage productions and some brand new ones, Return of the Kildeer easily shows off Hille’s considerable talents, but the schizophrenic nature of the songs and of the fact most were composed for different purposes makes this not the most cohesive of listens, but still one that has many transcendent moments. Some of the best songs found here came from a song cycle about life in East Vancouver, including album showstopper "Liza Jane.” Its mixture of orchestral backing and of Hille’s soaring voice will delight fans of Rufus Wainwright and of the more ambitious Tori Amos projects. "Every Morning” is also from that same cycle, and it too is subtly fascinating thanks to Hille’s strong, melodramatic voice. For those who want a little more edge, "A Little Pleasure” allows for some rock, as some dirty guitar and growling vocals handily bring out the song’s imagery. A scattered mix of songs, but luckily the one thing that does ring out loud and clear is Hille’s undeniable talent, both as composer and as passionate vocalist. (Ape)