Whether it's opening for such artists as Jane Siberry, Richie Havens, or Patty Larkin, or having his songs placed on compilations with Midnight Oil, the D4, and Matt Pond PA, Cousins' music has been making a powerful impression.
Continents Collide, has received significant air play on CMJ, Gavin, and non-Com radio stations across the country. The single "If I Let You Down" was broadcast nationally on the “Music Choice” channels of Direct TV. His songs were also in heavy rotation on countless internet music sites including Rollingstone.com and Soundclick.com.
Combining elements of rock, pop and folk, Hilary’s music has been compared to the artistry of Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers, Billy Bragg, Richard Shindell, and Tom Petty.
A native of New England, Hilary's done his share of moving around. He spent 12 years living and working in Brooklyn and Boston, and he's also lived in Canada, England, and Israel. Having recently relocated from New Haven, he's now based in Los Angeles. At every step along the way he's been mining, exploring and re-imagining musical ideas and language.
THE DEEPER STORY:
Continents Collide is an artistic achievement which reveals Cousins as a writer of exceptional caliber. The record contains passionate pop-rock propelled by driving guitars, tight rhythms, compelling arrangements, and stirring lyrics. The CD was co-produced by Tony Ungaro, whose credits include production work with Joe Jackson, Marshall Crenshaw, and Butch Vig of Garbage.
Cousins’ unconventional upbringing has informed his song writing. His father is a an ex-Jesuit from New Orleans who went on to become a medieval scholar and theologian, and his mother was a professor of English literature. Their home in rural Connecticut was a magnet for scholars, poets, nuns, carpenters, and gurus from around the globe. Traveling was an integral part of family-life: “My sisters and I were always being dragged to a site where some famous philosopher had lived, or where a saint had a vision and then spilled her blood in gratitude.” Whether the heated discussions around the table concerned world religions, Shakespeare, or the Dallas Cowboys, Cousins grew up in an atmosphere where the every-day and the more spectacular easily mingled.
Stylistically, Cousins’ song writing represents a departure from the dominant aesthetic of irony and from the familiar “story-teller” approach. Convinced of the transformative power of word and music, his songs are stirring reflections in which the boundaries between the self and other, and between the beloved and the divine, become confused and intertwine.
The song “Richest Man In the World” asks how a person can find meaning in a culture that praises conflicting measures of success. “Broken Man” conveys the burden of a man who is aware that he has been the cause of his own misfortunes. But even in the shadow of despair, these songs point toward hope, or at least to a connection with something larger. Cousins is especially intrigued with situations in which individual experience resonates with transcendence. In “If I Let You Down,” we meet a narrator who is simultaneously grieving the death of a loved one and realizing that he and she continue to remain deeply connected.
Some songs sound with joyous abandon, and with the delight of sensual pleasure. “Sound of Splashing Water” describes the intensity of passionate affair and the exhilaration and fear that surround the decision to give in to love. The drama in Cousins’ songs comes from an acute awareness of love, grief, and isolation, and the struggle to understand an often incomprehensible world.
Continents Collide is an electrifying expression of Cousins’ years spent exploring the way people, ideas, circumstances, and emotions converge— and sometimes collide.
Hilary and co-producer Ungaro are currently completing Hilary’s next full-length release, In The Blue Dream.
"Cinematic, evocative and colored with poetic visual imagery."
-Mi2N (Music Industry News Network)
"Considerable singer-songwriter talents..."
-New Haven Advocate
"His stirring lyrics, expressed in a soft voice, can be lulling and chant-like, or more demanding and thought provoking."
"Full of ideas and phrases that made me think of Billy Bragg with a hint of Richard Shindell thrown in for good measure."
"Cousins, who has been performing for 10 years, could pose for a portrait of the classic independent artist."
-Pioneer Valley Gazette Net
"'If I Let You Down' is a hot track, truly worthy of "single" status. The Tom Pettyish drumbeat and dark modern western vibe compels an attentive audience, especially this listener."
-President of Shut Eye Records