Hill & The Sky Heroes

Hill & The Sky Heroes

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN
BandAlternativeRock

Alien Surf Rock ... feeling like an alien, not feeling like they fit, but desparately trying to be whatever you want ... trying to be truthful, but edgy as well ...

Biography

HILL & THE SKY HEROES
11:11
BIO

From Goether's The Apprenticeship of Wilhelm Meister to Lucas' Star Wars- people love a good coming of age story. Perhaps even more so when the hero is flawed, slightly awkward and struggling to come to to terms in a world where she feels fundamentally out of place. Inherently, it moves us because everyone identifies with this journey and it stirs up deep emotions about who were, who we are and who we dream of someday becoming.

Award - Winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, performer, producer and filmmaker, Hill Kourkoutis, captures that "Bildungsroman" spirit in her new solo album, 11:11. In her own 24-year long passage, Kourkoutis has established a reputation in both the Canadian music and film insutries that most artists struggle to achieve in a lifetime. As a hired-gun, she's toured and played with The Weeknd, Tara Slone, Saidah Baba Talibah, The Cliks and Martha & The Muffins to name a few. On the other side of the lens, Kourkoutis has directed videos for Sass Jordan, Serena Ryder, Mother Mother, Alex Cuba and others. With the release of her new album, this young, multi-talent is poised to reach even greater heights, drawing on her multifaceted perspective to seamlessly fuse together her vision.

The debut record by Hill & The Sky Heroes is 11-tracks of catchy, spirited songs - some moving, some electrifying - evolving over seven years of Kourkoutis; personal journey, but resonating with the individual story of every listener. "it was about feeling alien and coming to terms with being real," Kourkoutis explains "Art helped me embrace the foreign feeling of being human - and taking in the dramedy of life, the beauty of the smallest thing without having to complete deconstruct reality." Themes of alienation and connection, conflict and harmony are reflected in the album with sincerity and maturity that are tied very closely to the path that led to the creation of the record itself. The album progresses naturally, with each song depicting a hyper-intelligent, intuitive, and cerebral girl-come-woman in her metamorphosis: a musical journey of self-discovery beginning at the fragile age of 17.

While the core of the work is based on Kourkoutis' experience, the complexity of the final product is added to be her solo-collaborations with many other Canadian artists, traversing various media for the ultimate cinematic experience in sound. Today, the Toronto musical scene is making waves on the world sound scape and with Kourkoutis entrenched in this industry, collaborating with her friends on the album introduces this scene's relevant voices into the musical layers. "I worked with people who know me the best", she described, "They pushed me to overcome fear and to be honest." In this spirit, 11:11 was co-produced with Adrian Eccleston (guitarist with Drake, Kylie Minogue, Nelly Furtado and The Weeknd) who shared duties with Kourkoutis in creating the instrumental grit of the record - playing guitar, bass, keys and drum programming. On top of guest vocals and musical accompaniment, several of the album's tracks were co-written with other notable industry players-from Serena Ryder, Saidah Baba Talibah, Martha & The Muffins, to Doc, Dmhnait Dayle and others - these contributions round out the album, creating a sense of something bigger than a solo ride. Kourkoutis reinforces this concept saying, "It's not necessarily one voice that makes this happen, but when many come together." And yet the sound on 11:11 is so unique, so captivating, so Hill.

From the opening sounds of a spaceship taking off in the first track, "Beam Me Up", the theatrical "alien surf rock" tone of the album is evident, identifying a musical sound otherwise not appropriately defined in any established genre. Nostalgia dominates all aspects of the record launch, from retro-style 3D cover art (designed by Kourkoutis) to the obvious influences of late 1950s/early 60s Californian pop to British pop-rock and New York

Lyrics

NO MAN'S LAND

Written By: H. Kourkoutis/M. Johnson/M. Gane

Being a woman Is not being a man Not being lost In No Man's Land
Stop saying you're sorry for not being a man For not destroying world with the wave of your hand
So act like a woman if you can You'll find the way into No Man's Land So act like a woman if you can You'll find the way into No Man's Land
Mother's of courage Father's afraid Warring with weakness Inner hate, outer rage
Stop saying you're sorry for not being a man For not destroying world with the wave of your hand You kept us all quiet with the strength of your lungs Bought me a name that ended in Son
So act like a woman if you can You'll find the way into No Man's Land So act like a woman if you can You'll find the way into No Man's Land
Are you man enough to act like a woman? Are you man enough for me? Are you man enough to act like a woman? Are you man enough for me?
The fighting is over but there are still scars As you're falling to pieces, you fall my arms
So act like a woman if you can You'll find the way into No Man's Land So act like a woman if you can You'll find the way into No Man's Land Are you man enough to act like a woman? Are you man enough to act like a woman? Are you man enough to act like a woman? Are you man enough to act like a woman?
A hero, a hotshot A son of a gun Man of the moment Before time had begun She's a shrinking violet Let's play old maid Wallflowers strangle her Right to her grave

THE BETTER WAY

Written By: H.Kourkoutis

I've been 'round this godforsaken town Been town those winding roads Searching for that click To make it stick
Maybe you could be that other half of me But I know it's all for show It's the same old thing We're out of sync
And I fly high, high, high in the sky And can't breathe, breathe 'cause it's choking me As I unravel with that string from your sweater In this reverie
I mean no harm, so lend me your ear or arm Instead your heels under head And this picture herds A thousand words
Maybe baby could it be true that I'm that other half of you As I walk against the clock It's the same old thing We're out of sync
And I fly high, high, high in the sky And can't breathe, breathe 'cause it's choking me As I unravel with that string from your sweater In this reverie
And I'll say there must be another way So darling, keep your thoughts at bay Let me stay This could be the better way
This could be the better way
And I fly high, high, high in the sky And can't breathe, breathe 'cause it's choking me As I unravel with that string from your sweater In this reverie
And I fly high And I fly high As I unravel with that string from your sweater In this reverie
Ba pa, ba pa pa pa pa This could be the better way This could be the better way

Love Isn't Safe

Written By: H.Kourkoutis / Jaylene Johnson

Love isn't safe
It's a mess we make
Gonna buckle underneath the weight
Can't be contained
Won't show restraint
Pull the pin and launch the hand grenade
Kiss me in the dark
Hold me close and break my heart
Love isn't safe
No crystal ball
To say when we fall
Feel the tremor of the midnight call
Slowed down to a crawl
In an endless hall
Hear the mother at the wailing wall
No angel on the harp
No comfort for a broken heart
The pain I can't ignore
Say goodbye and lock the door
Strip me to the core
Leave and make me want you more
Love isn't safe
You can't escape
Pulls you in until the whole earth shakes
It's a ticking clock
You won't make it stop
Leaves you reeling with the aftershock
Kiss me in the dark
Hold me close and break my heart
Lead me to the mark
Drop the bomb, blow me apart
Kiss me in the dark
Hold me close and break my heart
Lead me to the mark
Drop the bomb, blow me apart
Love isn't safe

THERE'S A LIE ON YOUR PILLOW

Written By: A. Eccleston/H. Kourkoutis

THERE'S A LIE ON YOUR PILLOW
(A. Eccleston/H. Kourkoutis)

While you cry in your pillow
That's reeling in lies
It's seeing red
In your buried mind

You creep away
Like your something abused
Try to pass the blame
But you do it to you

What was it that you meant when you said that you can't live with out me
What was it that you meant when you said that you can't live with out me

Actions stand
While the words run wild
It eats me out
It eats me out

I want the taste of your smile
On my lips
To wash away with your words
On this sinking ship

Cold cold heart
What did you do to me?
I could've died in the arms
Of those hidden dreams

Tell me what you meant when you said that you can't live with out me
Tell me what you meant when you said that you can't live with out me

Actions stand
While the words run wild
It eats me out
It eats me out

You didn't see the dark in me
You did it to yourself

Actions stand
While the words run wild
It eats me out
It eats me out

? SOCAN 2011

A BITCH LIKE ME

Written By: Hill Kourkoutis / Donna Grantis

The tides are turning The tides are turning so high And they're changing like the weather In my mind's eye I wanna talk to you I wanna talk to you all night Because things can get so lonely I'm so lonely
This fuse is gonna blow Within in this undertoe
'Cause life is kinda crazy When you're messin' with a bitch like me
The stars are burning The stars burning so bright And they're draining out the light From my lullaby I wanna talk to you I wanna talk to you all night Because things are slowly crumbling And now I'm stumbling
This bomb's gonna explode Melting everything you know Ya, This bitch is gonna blow I'm gonna lose control
'Cause life is kinda crazy When you're messin' with a bitch like me
When I close my eyes In my mind, it's a battle cage And I'm stuck in this feeling Where we're still screaming When we're still screaming You're still screaming
You tell me not to lie I tell you not to beat I told you 'bout the things you could not keep If things should go awry I'll be dying in this heat You tell me I should die
Life is kinda messy When you're fuckin' with a bitch like me

BEAM ME UP

Written By: Hill Kourkoutis / Adrian Eccleston / Martin McKinney

This blazing paper holds ancient secrets through its words And its traces spread like wildfire over the world
Reality It wakes inside a dream
There must be something wrong with me There must be something wrong with me I wanna fuck all that I see I want to fuck off
Want to fuck off
Are they finally finding me? Are they finally finding me? They're empty words mean shit to me So beam me up and Beam me up and

IN RETROSPECT (YOU WERE THE ASSHOLE)

Written By: Hill Kourkoutis

I'm bloodshot red and foaming at the mouth We've got a lot to say but the words won't come out I've tried, I've said those words till I was blue in the face But then you slammed my head into your packed suitcase
I drowned out your words with my 45 up high And I turned around with no kiss goodbye I should have left you there strangling from my suspenders
Oh your eyes are green with envy tonight As you turn to those who will take flight Now just remember to stop those stars From dancing about your head
'Cause you'll look back on these days As the grey wolves howl And the jack knives raze through your soul While I'm laughing away
Now I've made my way down through the dirty south I take a shot of whiskey and as it burns my mouth I dream of what it'd be like to watch you die Pray for forgiveness
And beat myself between the eyes
And through a screen of black and blue It occurs to me There's one small thing to stop the torture in me So I go out back and I grab and I load my shotgun
Oh your eyes are green with envy tonight As you turn to those who will take flight Now just remember to stop those stars From dancing about your head
'Cause you'll look back on these days As the grey wolves howl And the jack knives raze through your soul While I'm laughing away
Don't you say you're not lying to me Don't you say that's not lying, oh no
Crouched in a cold corner, wet, you beg and you plead Ready to cock and pull my trigger but then it dawns on me I'd rather watch you live and suffer than watch you die "Why should you take the easy route?", I declare with a sigh
And now the tables have turned, I'm much wiser now And know the devil deals with what you dirty fucks are all about Judgement Day's not very far away
Oh your eyes are green with envy tonight As you turn to those who will take flight Now just remember to stop those stars From dancing about your head
'Cause you'll look back on these days As the grey wolves howl And the jack knives raze through your soul While I'm laughing away
'Cause you'll look back on these days As the grey wolves howl And the jack knives raze through your soul While I'm laughing away

RENT AN OCEAN

Written By: Hill Kourkoutis / Serena Ryder / Damhnait Doyle

Ooh-oo-oo-ooh ooh Ooh-oo-oo-ooh ooh
If you're broken, I will fix you If you're lonely, I will miss you If you're drowning I will reach you Rent an ocean just to run it dry
Ooh-oo-oo-ooh ooh 'Cause I'm never gonna say I'm never gonna say goodbye
I'm afraid that if you leave here You won't love me. Maybe you never did So I gripped your hands so tight My knuckles turned white Why did I even try?
Ooh-oo-oo-ooh ooh Ooh-oo-oo-ooh ooh No matter what you say I'm never gonna say goodbye No matter what you say I'm never gonna say goodbye
Se thelo (x12) I want you Se thelo (x12) I want you
I was running just to catch you Now I'm the poor soul who didn't ask you If you meant to fall to pieces 'Cause it's the only way you'd feel alive
Ooh-oo-oo-ooh ooh Ooh-oo-oo-ooh ooh 'Cause I'm never gonna say I'm never gonna say goodbye No matter what you say I'm never gonna say goodbye I'll never go away I'm never gonna say goodbye

STARSEED

Written By: Hill Kourkoutis / Damhnait Doyle

Whenever I felt like I was alone I'd look to the sky and say that star is my home I'd float up through the clouds I'd never dream I'd come crashing down
Like the rain Stoking every fire Like the rain Comforting a liar
You cast out a line, hook, heart and sinker Saying don't be afraid, as you pulled me in deeper Then you let go of my hand, 'cause it made you feel weaker Now I'm casting a line to a dead end receiver
Like the salt Eating up the stitches Like the salt Tearing off the fringes
Like the rain Flooding out the fire Like the salt Choking back desire
Underlying. Growing with the weeds I pull you out but could never reach the seed, you Come 'round again but your slightly out of reach You always said you'd never do that shit to me

THE HUMAN SPECTRUM

Written By: Hill Kourkoutis / Saidah Baba Talibah

You like my face You wanna mate So suck it up now You're Animal Lose control
So shut your mouth now
You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO
It's giving me a fright Oh just explode for me tonight
Consensual Terrestrial Look in my eyes, yeah It's foul play The 4th of May Let's war the stars, yeah
You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO
It's giving me a fright Oh just explode for me tonight
What a lovely life to waste Choking on a bitter taste Swallow your bribe, Kick in your spine It's the same shit different day Turn yellow, turn red, turn black, turn grey This is the human spectrum
It's 11 o'clock What the fuck have you done wrong?
You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO You're so oo-oo-oo-oo-OO
It's squeezing out my light Oh just explode me for tonight

Discography

HILL KOURKOUTIS
MUSIC CV
MUSICIAN (live and session)
2011 Hill and the Sky Heroes (PuckEye Records/EMI) Toronto, ON
Live and Session: Vocalist/All Instruments
• 11:11 full length Album to be released June 2012
• Currently recording debut record with Hill Kourkoutis, Doc (Esthero, The Weeknd, Sting) and Adrian Eccleston (Nelly Furtado, Drake, Kylie
Minogue) co-producing
• Some Co-writes include: Martha and the Muffins, Serena Ryder, Damhnait Doyle, Dane Hartsell, Saidah Baba Talibah, Donna Grantis, Adrian Eccleston, Martin "Doc" McKinney
• 11EP Released 11/11/11 - 1st Annual Alien Appreciation Ball
Produced: Lucas Silveira solo project "Mockingbird" EP
2011 The Weeknd
Live: Bassist + keys / Vox
-played 1st show, sold out Mod Club Toronto, opened for Drake at Molsen Amphitheatre, various shows around Ontario and Quebec
2011 Lucas Silveira (The Cliks)
Live: Guitars, bass + Vox
-toured Canada, US and UK ... promoting "Mockingbird"
2011 Keshia Chante (Universal Music Group) Toronto, ON
Live: Bassist
• Played bass for Keshia on her Ontario/Quebec promotional tour
2011 Alyssa Reid (WAX Records) Toronto, ON
Live: Bassist
• Played bass, appearing on MuchMusic for Alyssa’s performance on New Music Live
2011 Saidah Baba Talibah (Independent) Toronto, ON
Live: Keyboards/Back-Up Vocalist
• Plays keyboards and sing back-up vocals, toured parts of Canada, France and Singapore
2011 Robyn Dell’Unto (Independent) Toronto, ON
Live: Guitarist/Back-Up Vocalist
• Sing back-up vocals and play guitar for local shows and showcases
2010 Serena Ryder (EMI Music Canada/Atlantic Records) Toronto, ON
Session: Back-Up Vocalist
• Has shared the stage to sing with Serena on various occasions including an opening slot with Melissa Etheridge at
Massey Hall
2010 Mookie & The Loyalists (Sony Music Canada) Toronto, ON
Session: Back-Up Vocalist
• Sang back-up vocals on the co-written track “Took Me By Surprise” for Mookie’s self-titled ep.
2010-present The Cliks (Tommy Boy Records/Warner Music) Toronto, ON
Live: Bassist/Back-Up Vocalist
• Sing back-up vocals and play bass, touring Canada and Europe
2010-Present Dane Hartsell (Chris Smith Management/EMI) Toronto, ON
Live: Guitarist/Bassist/Back-Up Vocalist
• Sing back-up vocals and play rhythm guitar and bass, touring Ontario
2010 Mercy, The Sexton (Independent) Toronto, ON
Live/Session: Bassist/Vocalist
• Sing back-up vocals and play bass for showcases
• Sang back-up vocals on record in addition to co-writing 4 of the songs on it
2009-present Martha and the Muffins (Independent) Toronto, ON
Live/Session: Guitarist/Percussionist/Back-Up Vocalist
• Sing back-up vocals and play guitar, tonguedrum and jimbay
• Co-Wrote the song “Big Day” and played and sang on the 30th Anniversary release of “Echo Beach”
2009-present Andrea Wasse (EMI Music Publishing) Toronto, ON
Live: Guitarist/Back-Up Vocalist
• Sing back-up vocals and play guitar for showcases
2008-2009 Stephen Kozmeniuk Toronto, ON
Session: Vocalist
• Featured as session vocalist on song demos for commercial placement (Becel, Kit-Kat and Tylenol )
2008 Ole Music Publishing Toronto, ON
Session: Vocalist
• Sang lead and backing vocals on Shiloh track “Army Of One” for subsequent placement in film and television
2008 LA Guns (Alexus Records) Toronto, ON
Session: Keyboardist
• Played keyboards and synthesizer on “Save Someone” for upcoming release
• Produced by Steve Thompson (Madonna, Guns n’ Roses, Duran Duran)
2007-2008 Hunter Valentine (True North Records) Toronto, ON
Live: Guitarist/Keyboards/Back-Up Vocalist
• Toured with band for Ontario Tour, CMW and NXNE showcases
2006-present Tara Slone (The Orange Record Label) Toronto, ON
Live: Guitarist/Back-Up Vocalist
• Joined Tara Slone on Cross Canada Radio/Television Promotional Tour, Showcases, Festivals, Television and Radio Shows
• Television and radio appearances include: City TV, CTV (Entertainment Tonight, Canada AM), Global (Morning News, En

Set List

No Man's Land
Blind As The Light In The Night
Rent An Ocean
The Moon
Can't Get You Out of My Head (cover)
The Better Way
The Shoreline (solo)
The Human Spectrum
A Bitch Like Me
Love Isn't Safe
My Little Runaway
In Retrospect (You Were The Asshole)
Doctor, Doctor
Starseed
Moon River (cover)
There's a Lie on Your Pillow
I put a Spell On You (cover)