Dissonance is an underrated quality in music. And I don't mean "dissonance" in the noise rock sense of that word although throw on Daydream Nation
and you'll see why that's A-Okay as well. I mean thematic and sonic dissonance. Write a sad song with an upbeat melody. Write a happy song with a sad melody. make a song about sex as intentionally unsexy as it can be. Pair gorgeous vocals with thrashing guitars. Do something to make your music unpredictable. I mean, I'm not saying you have to go down that route, but throw a curve ball into the formula from time to time. And Brooklyn synth-popper/alt-pop songwriter Lilly Wolf
understands how to hit just the right notes of dissonance.
Lilly Wolf has a new LP, Deleted Scenes
, that just came out last week (which you can snag from iTunes here
), and we had the chance to chat with the rising starlet about her new single, "Violence." Pairing some grunge-y guitars which sound like they should be soundtracking a fight scene in the next sequel to The Raid
with her gorgeous voice and shimmering synths, Wolf has crafted a track that is as much a whirlwind of emotions and unsettling dread as 'violence' itself. Check out the track and our chat with the young star. We're pretty sure this isn't the last we'll be seeing of her.
Dance-pop is back in a bigger way than at any point since the 80s. Why do folks resonate with pop music that you also want to dance to?
You know, I think it's a cycle. Everything sort of comes back around 30 years later. We've been reliving the 80s but I think the next thing will be like a grunge or a surf-rock revival. Or maybe 4th-wave ska will happen, who knows?
For the bigger question of why people like pop music, it really depends on what you think pop music is. For us, it means music that's accessible, like you can get hooked on it right away. It doesn't mean it isn't challenging or complex (in fact a lot of pop arrangements are super-complex), but it is broadly appealing. Add dancing to that, and you've got the perfect recipe for a good time.
You went to Stanford. Do you think that having that sort of intense academic background makes your music resonate in a different way?
Being weird nerds has probably impacted our sound a lot, although it's hard to say exactly how. We're pretty technical and detail-oriented about production. And I'm fairly obsessive about lyrics, which is maybe a byproduct of having read so much as a kid.
With its title it might be expected, but there's a churning darkness to "Violence." What emotions were you trying to translate with this track?
The song is about invisible monsters, the sort of expanding desperation that we keep to ourselves. And the alienation we experience when we look around and see the blank smooth faces of people who are doing the same thing. We're good at hiding from each other.
This might be me projecting as someone who suffers from social anxiety, but I also hear elements of anxiety in that yearning to connect with other folks that you seem to allude to in the track. Was that an intentional element of the song?
Sort of. Inasmuch as someone with society anxiety perceives a wall between themselves and others -- that's definitely there.
For folks who hear "Violence" and want to hear Deleted Scenes, what can they expect from your recently released LP?
There are some recurring themes in the album that show up in "Violence." A lot of it's about isolation, like how we're participants in our own exile, and about the kind of brittle or threatening ways in which we perceive others. The unseen parts of a person's head, the weight of solitude.
The album's up pretty much everywhere now -- It's posted to Spotify
. It's on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play etc. as well.