Hilang Child debuts ‘Seen The Boreal’

Having recently shared a video for the track ‘Good To Be Young’ from a new studio album due for release next year, Hilang Child has today released another new track and video, “Seen The Boreal”, from the LP. Of the track Ed Riman aka Hilang Child says: “Seen The Boreal is one of the most personal and introspective songs I’ve written. It’s easy to ignore the joy of our past successes in favour of lamenting our present failures, even resenting memories of good times due to the guilty feeling that we should’ve spent that time grinding away with our work. We can fall into a cycle of comparing ourselves with others, wanting their validation whilst simultaneously feeling unworthy or envious of them. Seen The Boreal addresses this, willing us on to instead focus on appreciating the moments which have brought us joy, reminding us that anxiety is a physical feeling which will pass if we let it. The song started with the riff, which in my head I imagined as monastic chanting as if it were being sung by monks in a mountain temple. In the end it became much heavier, played on bass synth, distorted saxophone, piano and guitar, though I still enlisted some friends to sing that enchanting hum along with it – these were Paul Thomas Saunders, AK Patterson, Ellen Murphy (Balaami/El & Del/Nitework), Penelope Isles and Hannah & Zoe from Lonely Fire. The woodwinds and horns were arranged and performed by John ‘Rittipo’ Moore (Bastille, Public Service Broadcasting) and 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 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.