Hilltop, a 5-piece band from Albany that features a blend of rock with funk, jazz, blues and bluegrass mixed in, is set to release their self-titled debut album on Friday, February 8.
The band combines original music, diverse covers, and improvisation to create a unique listening experience. The band includes Aris Nieuwkerk (guitar, vocals), George Scherck (keyboards, vocals), David Klang (bass, guitar, vocals), Stephen Perry (drums, percussion, vocals), and Reid Perry (drums, percussion, vocals) who have collective influences of The Grateful Dead, Phish and Miles Davis. All these artists feature many different styles over the span of their careers, and this is what has shaped Hilltop’s sound and how to incorporate various styles into their songs – there is not just one sound or style that defines Hilltop.
Hilltop was tracked at recording studios at the two colleges band members attend – Schenectady County Community College and Mercy College in Westchester. Mixing was completed at Mercy College and the album was mastered on Long Island at MEI Studios, where David is an engineer. The songs on the album had already been performed live numerous times, with David noting, “This made it easy to get a natural feel for our songs in the studio, giving the listener an accurate representation of what the band sounds like live.”
This summer, Hilltop plans to hit the festival circuit in New York and the Northeast, and looks forward to building their following so they can spread out beyond the confines of the Northeast. The band knows this is a long journey and is dialed in for just that. “We know it often takes decades for a band to become seriously established outside of a small niche, and I think we’re all preparing ourselves to keep moving forward with Hilltop on a long term basis. We’ll see where it can take us if we can keep it going for a while!” said Klang.
The band’s single off Hilltop, “Driftwood” was released on January 18 and a multi-cam studio video of the single was recently released on YouTube.
Hilltop’s self-titled debut album drops on Friday, February 8 and will be available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Bandcamp and Google Play.
To celebrate the release of Hilltop, a release party will be held on Saturday, February 9 at Parish Public House in Albany. Doors open at 8pm with Glass Pony opening the night at 9pm. Cover charge is $10.