Hearts and crafts – Vancouver’s art-pop, torch-folk songstress, Hilary Grist, embraces the rich details of the heart and paints sparkling vignettes with her poignant musical and visual creations. Inspired by the mysterious and with a penchant for wide-eyed optimism, her soothing honey-soaked voice and intimate piano playing soar over driving indie pop, warm tinderbox folk and whimsical jazz; all with a twinkle in her eye and a stomp in her foot.
Hilary was born in the tiny, northern mining town of Quesnel, BC and grew up in Maple Ridge singing along to the Beatles in the family station wagon, playing piano and writing her own little songs. Years of classical piano lessons and singing in the highschool choir led her to move to Vancouver and continue her music education at the Jazz Studies Program at Capilano University where she was inspired by everything from Debussy and Chopin, to Ella Fitzgerald and Tom Waits. Since graduating, she has blossomed as a songwriter and released four acclaimed albums.
Since the release of her most recent album, Imaginings, produced by Mike Southworth, Hilary has been charming audiences across Canada, making appearances at NXNE in Toronto, Edge of the World Festival in Haida Gwaii, Pop Okanagan, CBC Radio 2′s Canada Live, CBC Radio’s Toque Sessions and sharing the stage with artists like Mother Mother, Hey Ocean and The Odds. The album’s emotional depth and intricate beauty has garnered generous praise from press and critics who have compared her to Feist, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones.
Hilary’s free spirited, cinematic songs have been featured on international TV shows like Degrassi (MuchMusic), Being Human (NBC/Syfy), Continuum (Showcase), Endgame (CTV) and Go To Gal (CHEK TV). They’ve been adored on campus radio from coast to coast and have appeared on many CBC Radio programs such as DNTO, North By Northwest, as well as Lana Gay’s ehList on CBC Radio 3. Her music has also found eager new listeners in the U.S. through the iTunes Singer-Songwriter Spotlight. Most recently, Hilary won $15,000 in the highly competitive Peak 100.5 FM Peak Performance Project.
Hilary’s creativity doesn’t just stop at music; her playful hand-drawn music videos, chalkboard animations, illustrated E-cards and other inventive visual art creations, such as her 8 foot long cardboard piano-city for the music video ‘Tall Buildings’, have captured imaginations across the globe on YouTube.
Hilary is currently busy at work, crafting her next extraordinary music and imagery project – a lullaby album and fantasy picture book called Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over.
‘She certainly has the goods…’ -The Province
‘Storyteller’s feel…’ -The Vancouver Sun
‘Solid songs from the heart…’ -Americana UK
‘Extremely talented and intelligent artist…’ -Herizons Magazine
‘The next stranger darling under your radar…’ -Left Hip Magazine