Hilang Child debuts ‘Good To Be Young’

As a first taste of a new studio album due in early 2021, Hilang Child has shared a hypnotic video to a dazzling new track titled “Good To Be Young.” The video was directed by Tough Honey using Notch VFX and motion-capture technology and features a dance performance by Rachel Laird and Hazel Sutton. 

Of the track Ed Riman aka Hilang Child says: “Good To Be Young is the first in a chain of songs exploring the relationships myself and others have with the validation-led world of modern social connection. A concept that feels even more significant now, with the global coronavirus pandemic having forced a transition to almost exclusively online communication over the last few months. The song was written using Brian Eno & Peter Chilvers’ iOS app ‘Bloom’ as a musical instrument; I created an ambient bed using the app alongside a number of other textures, then wrote my way up through vocals, drums and heavy bass. I wanted to convey a sense of there being a narrator looking into a crowd of people, pondering over what’s going through their heads as they awkwardly pretend to be having the time of their lives for the camera, hiding their anxious reality and true personality beneath a false version of themselves. To sing the gang-vocals which represent this crowd I enlisted some friends to be my choir for a night – among them are Jack, Lily and Sowy from Penelope Isles, Paul Thomas Saunders, Alex Patterson (AK Patterson), Ellen Murphy (Balaami/El & Del/Nitework) and Hannah & Zoe from Lonely Fire. The song was co- produced by myself and JMAC (Troye Sivan, Haux, Lucy Rose).”

Ed Riman is the Eurasian songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist behind the Hilang Child moniker. His first album Years was released on Bella Union in 2018, earning plaudits from the likes of Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music and reviewers across including Q, MOJO, and The Line Of Best Fit. Notable tour dates when promoting Years included SXSW in Austin, TX, Iceland Airwaves festival in Reykjavik and a run of concerts in Indonesia in collaboration with the British Council and Greenpeace. Not one for sitting still, he also regularly finds time to tour as a bandmember with other acts, spending a year singing with Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde’s new project Lost Horizons (including mainstage slots at Green Man and Bluedot Festival) and as a session drummer with London collective Outlya, labelmate Dog In The Snow and Big Dada alumni Elan Tamara. 

Hilang Child had been praised for the serene nature of his debut album but the intervening period has seen a brasher, more upfront aesthetic enter his songwriting. Opening his mind to more collaboration, co-writing and communal performance, a new sound is beginning to emerge from Hilang Child which displays a true evolution on Riman’s creativity. The new songs have a noticeable confidence and feeling of congregation, whether it’s massive gang vocal reprises, aggressive bass-synths and hypnotic drums, or the juxtaposition of a pumping, heavy groove with ethereal woodwind textures. Despite hold-ups owing to the global Covid-19 pandemic (Hilang Child had tours cancelled and a forced transition to completing new material remotely, unable to get back in the studio to finish what had been started), the new songs are a significant step up from what came before and will be trickling out in 2020 alongside visuals created by London collective Tough Honey.