Veda Hille presented a set of ethereal songs on Return of the Kildeer that aren't quite indie rock, lo-fi, or singer/songwriter material, though there are elements of each genre to be heard. Her voice and compositions (especially when they're piano-based) are somewhat in the confessional singer/songwriter tradition, albeit a little quirky. Yet there are also traces of a theatrical, cabaret-like art song sensibility in the whimsical airs to the lyrics, vocals, and arrangements (especially when they use a bit of orchestration). There's also a spare and spacious yet minimal feel to the music, even though quite a few instruments are used, including many that aren't exactly run-of-the-mill even for oddball indie CDs: bottles, bells, a washing machine, a clock, pots and pans, a plumber's whistle, and a bicycle pump, for instance. The album's on the subdued and wispy side, stronger on evoking fleeting moods and impressionistic visions than concrete images and feelings. In contrast, "Frank Mills" is a much more straightforwardly direct, descriptive, and romantic story-song than anything else on the record. At times it even veers close to being a pop tune, though here again the words make for too eccentric a character sketch to find much truck with the mainstream.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger