Hilltop Hoods’ latest album has finally arrived, after much anticipation. Following on from the resounding success of 2007’s The Hard Road: Restrung, the Hoods have produced another orchestral album; this one marrying together beloved songs from Walking Under Stars and Drinking From the Sun, both equally successful albums in their own right.

Several new songs also find a home on the album, including first single ‘Higher’ and second single ‘1955’.

‘Higher’ features the vocals of James Chatburn, an Australian singer-songwriter whose talents were discovered through the Hoods’ APRA initiative to find budding young MCs and producers. The catchy song has found quick success, reaching number 9 on the charts and taking the crown of number one most added to Australia radio.

Continuing their support of local musicians, ‘1955’ features the quirky vocals of 2012 Triple J Unearthed High finalist Montaigne, and the spoken word of Tom Thum, a Brisbane beatboxer.

Written about living in a small town, ‘1955’ will be eerily familiar to those living in the regions around Australia, where it can often feel as though the area has been left behind in a different era to the rest of the country. Small towns often have a feel of ‘perfect on the outside, but chaos on the inside’ and ‘1955’ captures that feeling with lyrics such as “It's like we ride through life, Right in the shadow of the cold war, It gets so quiet at night, Like martial law took a hold y'all, '55.”

Other fan favourites on the album include ‘Cosby Sweater’, ‘I Love It’ and ‘Rattling the Keys to the Kingdom’. Each song rightly found enormous success in their original state, and yet the orchestral arrangements serve to only make them better.

The orchestral components of Drinking from the Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung were recorded with hometown talent – MC Pressure and Suffa recruited the 32-piece Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the 20-piece Adelaide Chamber Singers Choir to join them in their latest creation.

Hilltop Hoods will be honouring the release of the album with their largest-ever tour, performing arena shows around the nation with State orchestras to an expected 10,000 fans each night.

Diehard fans of Hilltop Hoods may still find it hard to reconcile the marriage between the Aussie hip hop band and a symphony orchestra, but there is no doubt the match is one made in heaven.

The success of Hilltop Hoods has previously been attributed to their willingness and courage to try new musical concepts and think outside the norm, and Drinking From the Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung is further proof of that.



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