Indie folk/rock band Hillsburn is at the Harrison Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 9. (Submitted)

East Coast band Hillsburn brings powerful songs and harmonies to Harrison

Hillsburn is inspiring contemporary music that speaks directly to the heart

The Harrison Festival Society will present Nova Scotia-based indie folk/rock band Hillsburn in the Memorial Hall in Harrison on Saturday, Feb. 9.

This marks a return for the band to Harrison, following an initial appearance on the festival beach stage in 2017. As artistic director Andy Hillhouse remembers, their performance sparked one of the most favourable responses since he has been director of the festival.

“Something about this band really grabbed people’s attention,” recalls Hillhouse. “Maybe it was their heart-on-the-sleeve delivery or their strong harmonies, either way they sure made an impression.”

While the band is formed around the songs of Paul Aarntzen, Hillsburn is a deeply collaborative affair. Multi-instrumentalist Jackson Fairfax-Perry plays bass, keys, and saxophone. Siblings Rosanna and Clayton Burrill complete the three-part vocal battery, and Rosanna puts her classical training to use with her layered violin textures. Newest member Clare Macdonald brings understated power to the proceedings. Her drumming is complex at times, direct at others, but never demands undue attention.

Their latest album, The Wilder Beyond, has just been nominated for Group Album of the Year along with three other nominations at the East Coast Music Awards. The album urges us to keep going in the dark moments, to soak up the warmth of the bright ones. It does that without being ostentatious or moralistic, raising a gentle fist of solidarity and recognizing that our struggles are both utterly personal and universal. Hillsburn is inspiring contemporary music that speaks directly to the heart.

Hillsburn is at the Harrison Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 9. The show begins at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25 and can be purchased online at www.harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604.796.3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison and Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart on Pioneer Ave.

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