It may have been six years between albums but Jessica Mauboy is back with ‘HILDA’, an album jam-packed with a variety of zesty sounds and rich experiences.
The album’s title, ‘HILDA’ is actually Darwin-born Mauboy’s middle name and is definitely one of her most down-to-earth albums yet, which is why you need to listen.
Choosing to delve into some of her most intimate, retrospective relationships with herself, her mother, family and relationship.
For Mauboy, the record was really about “trying to find pockets in my memory about myself, about my family, about truths and about regret.
“Over the last six years, it took a lot of guts and bravery to realise how important those things are to me,” she told Apple Music.
Here are my hand-picked top six favourite tracks from ‘HILDA’.
‘Blessing’ was co-written with Sydney musician, Muki combined with a confident production articulated by a heavy bassline and the gentleness of trickling piano chords. As many understand, life can be hard sometimes, especially when we have those days where we feel neglected or left out, but it’s these heartbreaking moments where we learn to develop our inner self-confidence and this song assuringly articulates just that.
“I think there’s nothing greater than having that self-confidence.
“If you know yourself deeply and you know how strong you are, you’ll know what you’re capable of,” Mauboy told Apple Music.
‘Come Runnin’’ owns a familiar up-tempo pop electronic production that gives off some serious Sigala vibes. This energetic soundscape suits Mauboy well, as she winds her unforgettable vocals in and out of the production. In essence, this track is all about giving your all to someone or something you love and perhaps wanting to know for sure if that is being fully reciprocated.
The glistening 80s synth just magically ascends like a spiral so blissfully alongside the calming chords that set ‘Better’ right off. The track is really like a dream, particularly in the bridge. Mauboy articulates with so much zest that feeling of falling in love with someone, as she sings, “and then the world just got better, we’re gonna make this last forever.”
‘Little Things’ was one of Mauboy’s colourful yet deepest and darkest songs about the stories that have been passed on, and what she witnessed through her mother’s actions and storytelling. By sharing her truth, she hopes to help heal others who feel like they have gone through a similar experience. A beautiful hard-hitting piano melody and subtle strings just beautifully allow Mauboy’s memorable lyrics to resonate that little bit more, making the song that extra bit special.
Taking a change of pace, ‘Sunday’ was produced and co-written with production duo, The Orphanage and is by far the grooviest track on the album, standing out with its gospel chant. No-one would really think of ‘Sunday’ as a ‘vulnerable’ track but I bet you didn’t know that for Mauboy, writing the song was actually quite difficult. Particularly, as the idea for the song stemmed from a disagreement with her partner one Sunday. Expressing this honest and truthful disagreement amongst the two male producers was initially challenging but Mauboy needn’t worry as they were very understanding. Just proving that some of your most vulnerable moments can have the ‘loudest’ impact.
‘Tough Love’ is one catchy and wholesome tune with its rocking acoustic and catchy claps, but there is also something authentically gentle about this tune. Mauboy explores all sides of real love; the good, the bad and the ugly but the beauty in all of this. As she sings, “give me your tough love, ‘cause love isn’t just some fairytale, to me, it’s what we’re building.”
I think why this track resonates so much is that it’s a tune that isn’t just about the tough love felt in ‘relationships’ but also in life, such as fighting for your passion or learning to love your flaws, which is why it stuck so much.
Go bag your very own copy of Jessica Mauboy’s ‘HILDA’ HERE.