Hip hop/jazz collective Project Hilts have released the video for their new single ‘Dark Side’, taken from the upcoming debut EP Still Here out September 15th.
The video premiered with Clash Magazine who described the single, “It’s a heady brew, one that draws on club tropes, while also finding room to inhabit internal spaces. ‘Dark Side’ is an engaging, totally organic blend of hip-hop and jazz, embracing the melodic flexibility of the horn arrangement on top of the bumping, boom-bap rhythm.”
‘Dark Side’ is a smooth soulful moment on the Still Here EP, where Liv Browning’s stunning vocals are matched by the slick rap of Hilts, which ebbs and flows such as the highs and lows of the relationships it addresses. Beneath this all is a funky bassline, expansive brass sections, danceable drums and lush vocals harmonies.
The video reflects the themes of the song and has been filmed in MC Hilts’ Deptford hometown. It follows the turbulent journey of a couple, while also featuring performances from Liv and Hilts.
Regarding the video Hilts says, “We worked alongside director Rob Brown for the ‘Dark Side’ video. He had a strong vision for the visuals, he called on actors Roger Nsengiyumva and Nia Towle and created a piece of art that we feel really embodies the song. The video depicts the highs and lows of a volatile relationship and aims to really provoke that sensation of being in the “dark side” with someone. Rob and the actors did an amazing job, we love it and we think you guys will too.”
Continuing about the single Liv says, “‘’Dark Side’ is all about that forbidden fruit kind-of romance. It describes the temptation of wanting to be with someone who you can’t have or know is bad for you, so the “dark side” represents a place where you can explore those desires even though you know it’s wrong. The song aims to provoke the feeling of giving into temptation and basking in that guilty pleasure.”
The Still Here EP also includes the previously released ‘Lonely Days’, a grimy biting track, yet also continues to ooze jazzy soul throughout. Elsewhere ‘Pressure’ is a brassy, bass heavy bop with a sound reminiscent to the likes of Loyle Carner, while the title track and EP opener pulls together touches of garage, grime, jazz and hip hop delivering a sharp-tongued imposing introduction to Project Hilts and their captivating, diverse and sensational sound.
Project Hilts has been formed by London MC Hilts, who cut his teeth as a member of the South East London grime crew The Square, led by Novelist. After moving to Leeds to study music production (now producing the Still Here EP), he became blown away by the city’s vibrant and thriving jazz scene. Seeing a clear resemblance between the grime and jazz genres, both being improvised, rhythmically complex, fast-paced and often against the grain he met with like-minded jazz musicians – Charlie Cooper (drums), Jacob FD (bass), Glen Leach (keys), Aidan Newland (saxophone), Felix Burling (trumpet), Lizzie Berchie (vocals), Liv Browning (vocals) – who shared his vision and the collective was formed.
Launching in 2019 the group were quick to prove a strong live draw supporting the likes of Submotion Orchestra, Andrew Ashong and Too Many Zooz, while also selling out their own headline shows in London, Sheffield and Liverpool.
Coming armed with their debut EP, Project Hilts are primed and ready to make a huge statement on the UK scene and beyond this year as they prove to be a unique commanding force crafting a sound truly their own.