Following two albums, 23-year-old Hillary Capps takes a pop-focus with folk and jazz influences in her newest EP, Maybe in the Morning.
“It’s sort of an eclectic mix of all my musical experiences coming into one, and it definitely showcases the direction I’m headed now,” Capps said.
This up-and-coming singer-songwriter grew up in Vermont, on a “dirt road sort of in the middle of nowhere” listening to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Hoagy Carmichael. “I love all the old standards and think they’re really magical to listen to,” she said.
Capps moved to New York City for music college, and joined a rock band that toured down the east coast and to Austin, Texas. While this was a great experience, it wasn’t the perfect fit. “We would rock out on stage. I didn’t have the chance to croon and be subtle.”
She learned that it’s important to push yourself in new directions, “but not to the point where you’re hurting your voice or doing something that doesn’t feel right.”
Co-produced with Anthony Farina, Maybe in the Morning is entirely original material and addresses themes like timing and finding your way. During a moment of nostalgia, Capps composed “September” at her piano. “From the Roof” came out of a rooftop experience with an ukulele.
The gravitation to pop was natural for Capps. “I found the songs I was writing did have these little hooks and catchy moments,” she said. “It definitely caters to a broader audience because it has different genres in it.”
Capps is currently seeking a manager and a label. Meanwhile, she’ll be playing at shows, networking and reaching out to radio stations. Her dream is to tour across the country and throughout Europe.
One challenge she faces is the overabundance of musicians. Technology has made it easier for people to spread their music, while making it “more difficult to try to get through all the sounds,” Capps said.
She offered this advice to young musicians: “Find your voice and what it means to you, and make sure that what you’re doing feels honest and right.”
Music, she added, “is sharing love and creativity. It’s sharing a voice and something that is a universal language to people.” — Leilani Rapaport
“Maybe in the Morning”