Naama Hillman
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Naama Hillman

Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Living Room by Naama Hillman"

Born in Israel, grew up in America and now lives in London! It’s been a bit of a global journey for extremely talented singer/songwriter Naama Hillman, but thank god she ended up in this country is all I can say!
This is Naama’s debut recording and a fine collection of original tracks it is. I hate to quote other journalists because it means you didn’t make it up yourself and therefore can take no credit, but it was put best by a certain London entertainment mag when they said Naama’s songs had “striking melodies and strong lyrical content”. This about sums it up, with one glaring omission…. a voice most wannabe singers would literally kill for.

Think of a richer, warmer sounding Sarah Mclachlan and you’ll be close to the staggering vocal talent of Naama Hillman. Her voice suits both upbeat numbers and slower more ambient tracks perfectly, and her dense, sultry tones could almost melt chocolate (I love this poetic license stuff!). It’s one of those voices that you can just listen to for hours on end without a hint of tediousness or boredom, and for a recording artist that is a very nice tool to have.

The accompaniment on the record is first class, with quite a solid groove based rhythm section, both acoustic and electric guitars and piano all combining to bring a bunch of very well crafted tracks together, with each part doing just enough and the production getting the best out of them all. However, it’s the voice for me that soars head and shoulders above anything else. You need great musicianship and this record has it. You need great production and this record has it. You need well written, well structured material and this record has that, but the voice, majestical.

This has something for everyone. The rocked up ‘On and on’, the well paced ‘Pictures’ and the atmospheric ‘Crash’ can all be found on this one recording, along with a further eight tracks that are as well written and as well performed as those mentioned. This really is a class piece of work, and it’s these sorts of records from people who I have never heard before that make doing this so worthwhile. I wish Naama every success for the future and I will certainly hope that she gets the exposure she deserves, because this standard of material deserves it.

And I just cannot get over that voice!


"Naama Hillman - Living Room"

Israel born, America raised and London based. Hillman's a new name to the ever blossoming female singer-songwriter scroll, but one who should be inscribed near the top of the list. Self-confessedly influenced by Sarah McLachlan (whom she occasionally resembles) and Carole King but with her own firm identity and voice, her debut album swings confidently between strident swaggering pop (notably represented by On And On) and the more intimate hushed and introspective moments of Falling and Sweeter Than Wine. Sometimes the two combine as with Pictures which opens in hesitant meditative Suzanne Vega mood before erupting into full blooded soaring chorus.

The purity of her delivery is well illustrated on the fragile, frayed nerves Crash and the watery drifting of The Brightest Sky, the dark huskiness complemented by the spare guitar arrangement while the gathering dusk ambience of Glory and Squeaky Song underline her musical line of descent from the classic days of the Brill building era. Although the Sheryl Crow falsetto of On and On comes close, I don't think there's a breakout radio play single here but there's a radio friendly warmth throughout the album that should help spread the word beyond her current gigging circuit.

"Album Review"

From the first few lines of Living Room, Naama Hillman's voice instantly reminded me of Sarah McLachlan. My initial feelings were borne out through the entire album, and the similarity with McLachlan extends beyond the sound of their voices to both the quality of material and production; Living Room is the equal of anything McLachlan has produced in recent years -- a promising sign given that this is Naama's debut album, and a self-produced effort at that.

Naama's lucid vocals are best demonstrated on songs such as "Sweeter Than Wine," on which she is backed by just acoustic guitar and her own delicious harmony vocals, achieving an altogether intimate ambience that is probably best described by the title of the song itself. It is Naama's beautiful harmonies that really make me warm to this album, yielding spine-tingling moments of magic.

One imagines Naama could achieve considerable radio success with songs such as "Falling," the album's opening track, or "Boxed & Shipped," both of which benefit from a sometimes hypnotic and always tasteful arrangement. Whilst I don't want to labour the comparisons to McLachlan -- just one last mention -- it is tracks like these with a more pop-oriented production that are most likely to appeal to a similar audience that McLachlan has attracted.

The production of Living Room is sublime throughout, giving the music a sophisticated and considered feel. Even when a full-blown string arrangement is included, it merely slips in between the layers of sound to add further depth and texture. Each component is cleverly pieced together, never threatening to overshadow the sum of all the parts and most importantly never distracting from Naama's exquisite voice.

Living Room is a perfectly executed singer-songwriter album. Naama Hillman is a perfect singer-songwriter with whom to relax and chill out. I'm looking forward to her next album already!



"Living Room" - LP
"In Between the Lights" - EP



“Bruce Springsteen is on fire”, her dad informed her one day, “says so in the paper.” Naama was horrified. “Is he alright?” she asked. Naama, you see, got into music young.

Today, Naama, may still be a Springsteen fan, but she is also a singer and a songwriter cut entirely from her own cloth. Her voice exudes a quiet strength perfectly suited to lyrics driven by a desire for clarity. Her melodies are fresh and memorable. On her upcoming second album, she has the confidence to shake off the shackles she had imposed on herself for her debut. “I wanted it to be a bit rougher this time”, she says. “When it’s your first album it somehow feels like there’s a code to be cracked. As if there is a certain way a song has to be structured and produced. This time I didn’t want to limit myself. I wanted to explore and take risks. It’s been such fun just to let myself go and create whatever I chose to create.” Many friends and fellow musicians, Morcheeba’s Paul Godfrey amongst them, have helped to add instrumental depth and detail to an album of rare subtlety, beauty and – yes – fun.

Born to a musical family in Beer-Sheva, Israel, where her grandmother had founded the Beer Sheva College of Music, Naama spent her first school years in the USA. Later, she returned with her family to Tel-Aviv where she became a teenage Sonic Youth fan. One day, a friend gave her an Edie Brickell album, another day, she stumbled across Suzanne Vega’s “99.9 Fahrenheit”. All of a sudden the Sonic Youth rush of feedback in her mind had an entirely different tinge. Aged twenty she arrived in London, supposedly for a one month visit. She stayed. Not only that – the anonymity afforded by this vast urban expanse gave her a new sense that anything was possible. Writing your own songs, for instance, and performing them in public. The strength of her material swiftly brought progress from open-mic sessions to her own headlining gigs in places like The Borderline and The Enterprise. Once, she remembers, Lemmy (of Motorhead) was in the audience. “Yeah!” he grunted during one particularly raucous passage. Her debut album “Living Room” was released on the independent Rusty Records label, leading to highly successful shows in Israel as well as concerts in the USA and Ireland. In 2006 she recorded the EP “In Between the Lights” which she made available for free download on her website, leading to considerable web fame.

These days, Naama is putting the finishing touches on her second album and planning for its release.

“2008 will prove to be a great year for Naama”