Tears On My Pillow But The Rest Of The Bed’s OK is the new album from rock-pop artist Hillary Bratton and it’s a strong and unique album that showcases an artist with a powerful voice and an equally powerful dedication to creative excellence. But there’s more. There’s a story behind this album. There are artists with a mutual appreciation colliding and exploding in vibrance and intensity here. There’s generations of perspective playing off each other and the result is superb.
In a nutshell, Hillary Bratton’s life changed the night she heard Marianne Faithfull perform “Guilt” and realized that it was written by Barry Reynolds, a composer she was already familiar with, and it was the birth of an idea to make an album of Barry’s music. After recruiting an all-star team of producers and performers for Tears On My Pillow But The Rest Of The Bed’s OK, and after sessions in LA and NYC, the final album is a stellar coincidence of great writing, intimate performances and dedicated musicianship. The music is intelligent, passionate and touching. This is one of those albums that stands out and demands to be heard on it’s own terms. In fact, we were so curious about the story behind this album that we reached out to Hillary to tell us more:
RUST: Thanks for talking to us Hillary. To get started, can you tell us what it is about Barry Reynolds’ music that touches you personally?
HB: I can wax poetic on this because I think his songs are amazing. Gorgeous melodies; unexpected, interesting chord changes and sophisticated lyrics. I’ve always thought of his songs as edgy, elegant and sexy.
RUST: The song “Guilt” was the starting point for this album, what is it about this particular song that inspired you so much?
HB: It was more the fact that I was able to recognize his songwriting right off the bat, but it’s an incredible song – it’s lean and sparse but packs a punch. It gives voice to a lot of dark, conflicting feelings. I had grown familiar with his work from Marianne and Grace Jones’s albums (I was working at Island Records at the time). I had never heard Guilt, but when Marianne started singing it, I knew that Barry had to have written it. I made it my mission after that to meet him and work with him.
RUST: We recently covered Melanie Bell’s project to re-record her late father’s (Barry W. Bailey) music, and we see a lot of conceptual similarities between your projects. Do you think that artists right now are yearning to preserve music that they might see as fading from the public awareness?
HB: I’ve been in love with Barry’s songs for so long, I just wanted other people to hear them. I think of them as modern standards. I could sing these songs forever and always find something a little different in them and I think people always want to hear great melodies – which I think are few and far between these days. Even with rap music, it’s always the sampled, melodic hook that keeps you going and makes you want to hear the rest of the song.
RUST: Did you have trouble convincing other people to join you in this or were they enthusiastic right from the start?
HB: It took a couple years from start to finish. It started as a 7 song EP that I was going to do with Anton. I knew Anton from my NY days, and we’ve always kept in touch. I always loved his music with the Palominos and the work he’s produced for other artist and it was a dream for me to work with him. I thought Barry’s songs with Anton producing was just a brilliant idea. Anton brought the musicians, so it was no convincing on my part. After that, it kind of took on a life of its own.
RUST: You had some amazing people play with you here, can you tell us a little about some of them and what they thought about being involved?
HB: Both Anton and Tony know incredible musicians – it was really all them. I was in the studio for the basic tracks so I got to see him and Grey McMurray play. But I wasn’t there for Tony Scherr, Irwin Fisch or Larry Salesman (sadly) or any of the other great musicians that Anton had rounded up.
For the LA songs, I met Bob Clearmountain through my husband, Martin Kloiber. Martin works at Avid and was working with Bob’s wife Betty Bennett who runs Apogee. Bob was kind enough to offer mixing a few of the songs that Anton produced. After we did that first batch, I wanted to record more and he suggested working with Tony Berg. Tony liked it and produced the other four songs. Tony knows EVERYBODY, so he was responsible for bringing in people like Patrick Warren, Sebastian Steinberg and Michael Urbano.
RUST: What about you, were you surprised to be joined by such illustrious people?
HB: I don’t know if surprised is the right word. Tickled pink and intimidated are more like it.
RUST: The album comes out soon, are you nervous? Excited? Impatient? All of the above?
HB: Nervous and excited. it’s kind of a nice time right now knowing that something is coming down the pike and I don’t have any control over it – and nobody has kicked it to the curb yet.
RUST: Thanks Hillary, last question, is there a particular song or album from Barry that isn’t on the album that readers should check out?
HB: Barry asked me to give a shout-out to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” if I had a chance… I’d recommend the album that he produced and played on for Baaba Maal “Television” and the song ‘Dakar Moon’ is one of my favorites.
Tears On My Pillow But The Rest Of The Bed’s OK is now available to pre-order on iTunes and will be available everywhere October 2nd.