SongNotes: Anne Hills Accidental August

Jamie O’Reilly
SongNotes Blog
Accidental August
Words and Music by Anne Hills & Al Power

“Accidental August nods and moves another pawn
Just as day is breaking, night descends at dawn
Weeks and months of moments lived, lost in fogs of gray
Freezing rain on summer streets
Takes your breath away”

(-Accidental August, Anne Hills)

“Takes your breath away….”  Ah, Anne!

Grief can offer a dull horizon. I was unable to listen to music when Michael died. Particularly his singing.  I felt the urgency to look up and beyond, but I was unable to create something even modestly appropriate to the loss.  So I waited.

With this deeply personal, fine recording, Anne led the way. Accidental August is all original work, covering a range of musical styles: jazz, folk, chamber/art songs.  Tracks feature Anne’s vocals, accompanied by longtime collaborators, singer/songwriter Al Power (co-writer), recording engineer/producer/musician Scott Petito, her lifelong friend/percussionist Peter Erskine, and featured guest pianist Tyler Wood. 

Listening to these songs, recorded months into the pandemic (and just weeks after losing our beloved friend Michael Smith), shifted my world.  Anne’s vocals, rendered with signature purity and dexterity, are now seasoned with wisdom and knowing.  Lyrics share a poet’s view of life, love, and loss.  The musical composition is a seamless and lovely collaboration between Anne and Al, supporting her distinctive musical template. With  Accidental August, Anne pulls you into the most intimate crevices of the heart with the instincts of a pro, promising a peaceful refuge once you’ve arrived. 

She knows what she’s doing!  Who doesn’t need that in these uncertain times? 

“Anne Hills’ powerhouse collaboration Accidental August takes a veteran folk singer’s jazz fascination to uncharted song territory that begs all to covet. Steal it, if you can.”

— Alan Whitney | Singer-Songwriter, Producer

Anne performs with Fred Simon on piano
Evanston S.P.A.C.E.
Sunday, August 15 at 1:00 PM, Doors: 12:30 PM
1245 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

Read Jamie’s Aug Blog!

Anne Hills is this month’s Roots Woman Artist of the Month.
Visit her website

Read Jamie’s 2018 blog about Anne:

Anne Hills photo by Irene Young