Eight years and four albums into it, Lilly Hiatt has just turned in her latest, Walking Proof, the highlight in an already solid career and the album that all her future records will likely be judged by.

Across 11 tracks, the Americana/southern rock musician slays it with a mix of sentimental and full-throttle jams that manage to both be highly personal and strongly relatable. The record starts off with the slow tempo “Rae,” but just two songs in, on the driving “P-Town,” Hiatt picks up momentum both sonically and lyrically and doesn’t relent until the end.

The rightfully-praised Trinity Lane showed Hiatt taking a big leap forward by delving into more personal issues. Walking Proof works equally as well for the same reason, picking up right where she left off.

The biggest difference between these albums is her willingness to balance her contrasting sounds, deftly shifting from country to rock, sometimes in the same song, like “Brightest Star,” with is Telecaster slide laying alongside a barrage of distorted guitar. And while there are plenty of standout moments on the record, “Never Play Guitar,” is certainly one of the best; you can almost hear Hiatt’s dad beating himself up for having never written the song before.

With Living Proof, Hiatt can finally shake the “Next Big Thing” tag, as she’s clearly already hit “Dependably Great” status.  

Purchase the album here.

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