The Dill
“Stop Time”

Tara Smith

It’s not uncommon to feel that there are too many things going on in your life, and the corresponding desire to take a quick break from everything is similarly familiar. However as I’ve grown older (relatively speaking), I’ve noticed that taking a break is harder and harder and that when you do get a break, it is never quite long enough to decompress, let alone spend some quality time with the people who you haven’t seen in a while. It’s important as a culture to recognize that we are allowed to leave the “busyness train” and that there are real consequences of taking on this workload and stress.

If there is anyone who is qualified to write about the mounting busyness that can permeate life, it is Dylan Hudecki. If you are from Hamilton his list of credits might not be surprising, but his breadth and depth have astounded me. Hudecki has: co-founded Junior Blue; toured internationally with By Divine Right; fronted Cowlick; played in High Kites; released solo work as Awesollator; scored films and commercials; remixed songs; kept a job as a school teacher, and is a proud parent raising three children. This incredible list manages to leave off his solo work as the Dill, which may be his most ambitious of the projects mentioned above – besides the child rearing of course.

The Dill’s forthcoming record Greetings From is something of a greatest hits, featuring 12-tracks from Hudecki’s 52 song magnum opus of songwriting and collaboration originally released as a deck of playing cards. Sure, the songs might already be available in a unique format, but the distillation of them into one record is worthwhile as it allows the listener to savour a few moments, such as the dreamy and delightful “Stop Time” featuring Max Kerman of Arkells.

The tracks lazy doo-wop tempo and use of slide guitar is evocative of the Hawaiian Elvis era where everything is a distant, exotic, and relaxing ocean wave, but Kerman’s vocals have been crumpled and copied into a more contemporary lo-fi production that makes him sound weary and perfectly echoes the tone of the lyrics. Arkells’s love of Motown and vintage music is no surprise, but hearing Kerman perform without the typical Arkells pop sheen nor in a period recording style is really engaging and a highlight of the single.

Ultimately, the heart of “Stop Time” lies in the Dill’s understanding and representation of the treadmill that we can put ourselves on. We might not be Dylan Hudecki (or Max Kerman for that matter), but we all can become so self-absorbed in our tasks that we need to take a second make space for moments in our life where time seems to not be moving. Perhaps if you are as engaged with “Stop Time” as I am, you will make listening to the Dill’s record one of those beautiful moments where time has stopped.

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