Tilly Christiansson - Whiskey Hotel You
When Swedish country duo Fifth Floor prematurely called it a day there was great sadness at #TEAMw21. Their light burnt bright and they left us with many happy memories and a batch of great songs and a sense of "what if". There was certainly a great song based around their love of the TV show "The 100" that was only released as an acoustic version however what other nuggets lay in the Fifth Floor archives remained a mystery, until now.
The decision to start playing piano caused founding member Tilly Christiansson to dust off a tune from the vaults and so we have a glimpse into what Fifth Floor may have become and it is simply jaw droppingly great! It once again confirms the adage that "less is more", there is little more than a piano, a voice and some humming yet the result is undoubtedly one of the best songs that you will hear all year.
Fifth Floor songs could always be relied on for high drama and this is no exception, as Tilly harks back to happier days contrasting it to the emptiness of her current situation.
"Memories came flooding back, when I stepped into this place
Everything is different now but it kind of looks the same
The past is all I think about, I ain't got nothing new
Whiskey Hotel You"
Tilly's voice now has a slightly richer timbre to it than we remember however that just adds to the authenticity and gives it even greater pathos, and as she lingers over the words of the title, the results are so effective.
The second verse uses minimal words yet builds such a vivid picture of surroundings and of someone looking for reassurance and stability in a mixed up world.
"Pinewood trees, the open fields and summers filled with rain
A thousand years could come and go and still nothing would change
I drove a 100 miles today, just to see this view".
A gentle humming at this point provides the only additional accompaniment, before the themes of the second verse are returned to.
"When I need some piece of mind, this is where I go
I'm not sure what I'm searching for but I know it's down this road
Love has dragged me home again, it knows what I've been through"
The three words of the title say all that is required, it leaves the listener to fill in the gaps as to what may have happened then and since, the fact that the opening letters of each word spell out "WHY" is surely no accident and seems to add to that overall sense of bewilderment.
It' is an outstanding vocal performance and the piano playing, sublime in it's simplicity, go together to make this pretty much perfect. Thank heavens that Tilly has rescued this from being lost forever, let's hope the vaults have more little gems to reveal, this one has been well worth the wait.
Whiskey Hotel You is available now on all digital platforms