Posts Tagged ‘The Lamb’

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The spectre of violence pushed Lillie West towards something life-affirming. Threats loom around every corner on The Lamb, her sophomore record as Lala Lala: burglars, car crashes, one too many drinks. Inspired by the aftermath of a home invasion West experienced as well as her newfound sobriety, The Lamb is a dark, impressionistic vignette of someone trying to find control in a life marred by chaos that traces a bracing emotional arc from fear through to hope. Simultaneously battered and dreamy, The Lamb has one of the more distinct sonic palettes to be found in 2019 indie rock, recalling the cathartic heat of Car Seat Headrest and Molly Nilsson’s romantic, twinkling reveries in equal measure.

The Lamb’s tearstained, post-midnight sheen also recalls Sky Ferreira’s Night Time, My Time — another album about reclaiming your life in the wake of alienation. But unlike that album’s discomfiting open end, The Lamb closes with West reciting a mantra to live by: “Turn the lights off, keep the bills low / Keep my friends safe, keep my friends close.”

“Copycat” from Lala Lala’s 2018 album The Lamb

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Chicago singer/songwriter Lillie West records as Lala Lala and she’s set to release the follow-up to 2016’s Sleepyhead. Her forthcoming Hardly Art LP, The Lamb, is a stark indie-rock record, informed by a difficult time period of West’s life, which consisted of “home invasion, deaths of loved ones and general violence.” As the album hops between lo-fi pop and scuzzy rock, West’s musings are nuanced and naked in their emotional outpouring. People react to early adulthood in vastly different ways and as West found herself intermingling with addiction and toxic people, she sought rejuvenation through sobriety and these new songs. “Destroyer” sees West trying to finally get passed previous hardship and “Water Over Sex” sees West grappling with her newfound more positive lifestyle. She’s a compelling, relatable narrator, someone who’s in her own head, but takes you on a journey through her clever mind and candid, unglamorous life experiences.

Can an album simultaneously charm and devastate? In the case of Lillie West and her solo project Lala Lala‘s sophomore album, The Lamb, the answer is an emphatic yes.

The record is a multi-dimensional exploration of both the human spirit and music that aims to crush souls. The quiet yet emotionally powerful grunge ballad “Moth” is pure escapism sonically and in its message. Beautifully knee-buckling, “Dove” is the feeling of plunging into the great blue sea. This landscape, however, is drowned with the tears of sorrow and pain, as West says goodbye to someone she dearly loved. On the chiming, dark rocker, “Destroyer”, West is brutally honest. She proclaims without hesitation, “You are the reason my heart broke behind my back”. Beyond the chorus, however, she also explains the many times she was almost her own destroyer. It’s a frightening yet honest revelation from the young artist.

The Lamb is also gorgeously widescreen, such as on the stirring and breathtaking “Dropout”. It is fantasy meeting reality, as West’s asks out loud, “Can you keep a secret? This is not the only one”. The dazzling and breathtaking approach of “Water Over Sex” uncovers the lies West tells herself to protect what she has. As she reveals, “I love my secrets, I’m lucky in making”. Vulnerability strikes on gritty “I Get Cut”, which summarizes the multiple events that have affected West’s life over the past two years.

Despite the trials and tribulations of her not-so-distant past, West still found a way to make them beautiful and stunning. Through her own perseverance, we understand that the human spirit is stronger than one can imagine. We understand that even a lamb can quietly roar.

The Lamb is out now via Hardly Art.

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Lala Lala, the Chicago-based indie rock project of Lillie West, has released a video for the song “Scary Movie” off her album The Lamb, released September. 28th, through Hardly Art Records.

“Scary Movie” is full of the sort of waterlogged beauty that West provides in spades on The Lamb. The song is a gentle, wistful conversation with herself about herself, but the video re-contextualizes it into a love letter from the past. The video features 16mm footage of West’s parents, taken before she was born, flying kites on a beach. That’s it. The entire video is the two of them, the beach and the kite. It’s insanely beautiful.

Watching them frolic while their daughter’s voice serenades them from the future is really something—at times, the setting is eerily reminiscent of the cover art for The Lamb, and the kite’s errant flight pattern feels tailor-made for the song. But it’s not. It’s something that actually happened, which is a theme that West grapples with all over the record. She’s stated before how The Lamb came from a period of trauma in her life, and how it’s a method of reckoning with lost loved ones. In that way, this video feels like an encapsulation of what West was working through on The Lamb. It’s about the past and the way it moves in tandem with the present, even if you can no longer see it.

West herself said something similar in a statement about the video: “I wanted to use this 16mm footage my parents took of each other before I was born because although I didn’t exist yet, their experience is in some way a part of me … This is where I came from, but if I view it as memory, I am technically wrong. It feels real and fake at the same time, which is how every day feels sometimes, and is what the song is about.”

Watch the video for “Scary Movie” below.

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Lala Lala, the project of Chicago-based songwriter Lillie West, has released a third single from her forthcoming album The Lamb, out September. 28th through Hardly Art Records. The album is among the most anticipated releases of September.

Lala Lala shares “Dove,” the third song off their new album The Lamb, out September 28th. “‘Dove’ is very plainly about the death of someone I loved a lot and the guilt I had and still have afterwards,” West explains of the plaintive and heartfelt track. “Dove” is out now at all DSPs .

“Dove” confronts directly the topics that have hung in the periphery of the band’s previous two singles, “Destroyer” and “Water Over Sex.” West has talked often of the traumatic experiences that contributed to the writing of The Lamb, including “a home invasion, deaths of loved ones and general violence around me and my friends.”

On “Dove,” West focuses her grief into a powerful, unflinching track that addresses the past directly. ”’Dove’ is very plainly about the death of someone I loved a lot and the guilt I had and still have afterwards,” West said. The song fashions West’s hazy guitars and ethereal voice into an miniature anthem of regret and longing. It’s a watery shout into—and about—an absence.

The song is a woozy end-of-summer jam, driven by flanged guitar lines and singer Lillie West’s hazy, submerged vocals. The song is thick with that feeling of being submerged, or perhaps teetering on the edge of being overwhelmed. “You think I’m good, well I’m soil in a sifter,” West sings. “A stone won’t fall through, it just keeps getting thicker.” The track is off their forthcoming sophomore album The Lamb, out September. 28th through Hardly Art Records.

“Water Over Sex” from Lala Lala’s 2018 album The Lamb