Opening with the acapella song Between Two Mountains, Chidester shows that even a guitar can be redundant when faced with the enormity of her vocal talent. This gospel-like melody twists and turns while she effortlessly switches between a light vibrato and a passionate wail. This is a perfect start to the gem that is Otter Hill.
If that weren't enough to get your attention, (though it should be) Chidester's mature songwriting will definitely turn some heads. "My grandfather lives in the ground," she starts on the second track Grandfather's Praises. "...of a cup of dark black coffee" This pause is a great misdirect and it draws you in. Clever wording and imagery unfolds into the ethereal on lines such as "Like a poor built dam built by a poor built man. You can't stop it from folding ooooo." Everything comes together on those drawn out notes and you understand how other instruments would just get in the way.
Otter Hill feels like Liz Chidester pulled up a stool to perform folk in its purest form. This entire EP could be performed on any of those dusty inherited guitars that grace dorm rooms and apartments all over the country. At the end of the day the most impressive thing about Otter Hill is that amidst all of the lone acoustic-guitar-playing folk singers out there, Liz has created something that is original and stunningly beautiful.
To learn more about Liz Chidester visit lizchidester.com