Vancouver’s foremost feminist singer/songwriter has turned to God. That’s actually not as bad as it sounds. Though Veda Hille has found creative inspiration through Scripture, be assured the end product is unmistakably Hille: uncompromising and left of centre.
In fact, the religious elements of This Riot Life are just threads in the album’s complex fabric. Stolen hymn lines and lifted lyrics from the Song Of Solomon represent extensions of an overall spiritual theme. She not only references her own trials, but also addresses issues relating to Vancouver’s sex trade workers on the standout track Soapland Serenade.
Hille’s theatricality can be a bit overbearing (Book Of Saints), but it’s exciting to hear her leave that sad piano comfort zone on Ace Of The Nazarene, a floored rocker that gives this record its Riot factor.
Veda Hille plays the Gladstone Sunday (February 24).