WEDNESDAY, JULY 01, 2015|
Posted by: Becky Foinchas
There's nothing sour about Lillie Lemon. She and producer Erica Wobbles feature the reddish yellowish browns of a quietly rambunctious autumn season in their latest LP. The duo has the ability to encourage you to believe in whimsical fantasy and child-like merriment once again. Lillie Lemon offers brutally honest yet conceptually driven pieces that have already begun percolating around the internet.
The opposing musical backgrounds of Lillie Lemon herself and her producer create an immediately contrasting sound, but we think you'll be surprised by just how colorful a pallet of alternative electro-pop they've crafted. We were given the chance to inquire about the origins of their outgoing variations, some major musical influences, and some of the method behind the musical madness.
There's a striking variance in instrumentation and style between tracks like "Stardust" and "Harrow Driver" for instance. What are some stylistic influences that have led to such a colorful record?
Lillie Lemon: This album was intended to be a bit of a concept album which explores loss in the most painful step in the process of grieving: denial. Because grief can be such a kaleidoscope of emotions, I was strongly averse to underplaying the variety of ways in which we express denial. "Stardust" and "Harrow Driver" are partner songs that tell the same story from two emotional states. "Stardust" is quite a lot more aggressive than "Harrow Driver..." angry, even; meanwhile, "Harrow Driver" takes a more sensitive route.
Stylistically, producer Erica Wobbles and I have very different backgrounds. He's influenced by music in the electronic spectrum, especially groups like Passion Pit, Chromeo, Daft Punk, and Chvrches. I come from a more indie-acoustic background, and bands like the Mountain Goats, San Fermin, and The Tallest Man on Earth have a big influence on me. We were able to harness our different influences to create an album with a lot of variety that I think communicates our message pretty well.
You've somehow managed to paint vividly illustrative pictures of stories that are familiarly relatable yet paradoxically distant, most notably in "Harrow Driver." Is lyrical relatability actively on your agenda in this new record?
I do recognize that my lyrics can be vague and sometimes hard to connect to. Songwriting has always been a very personal, private experience for me, so opening up tracks to a wider audience has been a challenge. I think "Harrow Driver" is a good example of this... the situation is very specific, yet the raw emotion of the track is easy to connect to. My attempt to get our audience to connect with the tracks a bit more takes the form of a companion booklet inside the physical copy of the album. Rather than just lyrics, the insert also
includes glimpses into journal entries and letters that widen the lens of the tracks a bit. It's my way of asking forgiveness, I suppose, for being so cryptic at times.
How might you describe the creative writing thought process for a song like "Stardust", with its Daft Punk-esque vibes and electronic loops as compared to an acoustically driven song like "Stay Here?"
The writing process for the majority of the tracks is surprisingly similar; I sit down with my guitar, strum a bit, and words find their way into the song. It's often very much a stream-of-consciousness experience. There's very little editing when it comes to lyrics for the most part; the first drafts of verses rarely experience major overhauls.
"Stardust" started out quite slow in comparison to its final configuration, whereas "Stay Here" remained relatively true to its original character. I knew "Stay Here" had to have a bit of a country flavor, so songwriter and country artist Casey Frazier found himself on board as guest producer. "Stay Here" wound up being a bit of an anchor track when Erica Wobbles picked up the album, giving us a nice reference to the acoustic feel most of the tracks display. I was craving that dichotomy on the album, so when more electronic tracks like "Stardust" and "Give Up the Ghost" started taking form during the production process, we were all pretty excited.