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Album Review: Glass Homes by Colin Lillie

Glass homes has been a long time coming for Scottish born musician Colin Lillie.

By Chelsea Heaney.

Although he picked up music later in life, this album is the product of years of hardship and personal growth. After landing in Alice Springs in 2005, Lillie spent time on the streets dealing with drug and alcohol addiction. Glass Homes is a story of salvation, an honest and raw exploration of finding a way out of a dark place and coming to terms with the past.

Lillie’s voice is rough around the edges, authentic and wellsuited to his autobiographical song writing style. Understated acoustic guitar and Lillie’s raw and prevailing vocals are at the centre of the album, with some layered backdrops of electric guitars and keyboard. The track ‘Brother’ packs a bit more of a punch than others, marking a pivotal point midway through the album.

Beginning with songs where the guilt and pain of the past is tangible within Lillie’s musical storytelling, the album goes on to follow a redemptive narrative. Moving towards the end of the album, with tracks like ‘The Man’, ‘She’ and ‘Neverland’, Lillie details the path to his sobriety – predominately through finding love. You can hear Lillie’s Scottish background in the music. Especially in the ending track ‘Will You’, where his accent comes through far clearer than in any previous track.

The production elements of this album are impressive, due to the contribution of well-known Cairns producer Mark Myers (of Middle East and Emma Louise fame). Myers also contributes to the guitar, keys, bass, trumpet and vocals on the album, taking a hands-on role and undoubtedly contributing to the polished yet genuine crafting of Glass Homes.

Lillie recently won Live Voice of the Year at the inaugural National Live Music Awards. Here's what he had to say on his Facebook page.

"I am completely and utterly overwhelmed and so blessed to be the first performer of the first ever #nlmas, and to have been the first to receive the first #ntlma for Live Voice of the Year. This is not just an award for me, but to the countless hard working mob who support and push live music in the NT. To Jacinta Price and my family I would not be able to follow my passion with out your love and support. Asho and the family at FOOTSTOMP MUSIC thank you, thank you! To all of the NT - we are a magical, diverse part of Australia, that is showing how talented our bands and artists just are nationally. Thanks to Foldback Magazine for your support and MusicNT you are the reason live musician growing in the Territory. Lastly to every single person who comes to my performances and listen to my music I send my love and gratitude."

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