*The Following Press Release Was Issued By FANATIC*
|Los Angeles, CA|
Alex Lilly stars with Highland Park Clowns in “Spirit,” written for her grandma; “She would’ve liked this song, even though she only listened to jazz.”
Lilly’s “Repetition Is A Sin” is out now on Release Me Records label owned by Inara George of The Bird and The Bee
Alex Lilly as photographed by Daiana Feuer
Alex Lilly | “Spirit”
“Alex Lilly, whose music is to the current plethora of pop what a Picasso is to a selfie.” — Buzz Bands LA
“Spirit” is a song about my grandma,” says Alex Lilly of the tune taken from her just-released second solo album Repetition Is A Sin. “She was a multi-layered person, so I wanted to express that musically with a lot of layers and melodies.
“Though ‘spirit’ is meant to mean her spirit, as in her character, she died just before I wrote the song and so it came to mean both definitions of the word. I think she would’ve liked ‘Spirit,’ even though she only listened to jazz.”
The music video for the song features Lilly performing with The Highland Park Clowns, a Los Angeles based ensemble that explores new angles on postmodern clowning.
Lilly says, “I’ve wanted to make something with them for a while after their performances around Los Angeles. For the video, a Vogue-style shoot gone full-tilt clown seemed perfect for the song, which is about really seeing someone’s true spirit.”
Jet Eveleth — The Highland Park Clowns director — explains that the ensemble is “committed to exploring the state of awe while pushing the boundaries of theater,” and strives to “examine the human condition through the lens of play while paying tribute to its ancestry in Commedia dell’arte.”
Lilly is joined in the “Spirit” video by The Highland Park Clowns ensemble members Madam Honeybear, Cake 2, Peanut Butter, Nipples, Chocolate, Food, Licorice, Bear, Couch and Bean.
Alex Lilly | In The Press
“Alex Lilly’s songs keep their cool.” — The New York Times
“Alex Lilly is the genuine article.” — FLOOD
“Pretty freaking awesome.” — FADER
“Alex Lilly is spellbinding. Album of The Week” — LA Weekly
“Alex Lilly steps into the spotlight.” — Flaunt
Repetition Is A Sin
(Release Me Records)
STREAM FULL LP
01. Pure Drivel (VIDEO)
02. Frank (STREAM)
03. I’m Getting Better At Falling In Love (STREAM)
04. Spirit (VIDEO)
06. Delight Me
08. Melinda (VIDEO)
09. Afternoon In Bloom
10. Bugs Bunny
11. Built For Chaos
Alex Lilly | About
Repetition is a sin — is it a mantra? A judgment? A fact?
Repetition Is A Sin is the title of the second album by Alex Lilly.
Repetition Is A Sin is also a cliffhanger! Will Lilly live up to the challenge she’s issued to herself following the hearty praise for her 2019 debut 2% Milk?
“Everything about this debut album by Alex Lilly is spellbinding,” said L.A. Weekly. “Pretty freaking awesome” and “the genuine article” wrote The FADER and FLOOD. NPR’s Los Angeles affiliate KCRW called 2% Milk “a pleasure” and Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times that Lilly’s songs deliver “structural and emotional complexity with deceptive nonchalance.”
Lilly’s talents are on point for other artists, as well. Her co-write of “I Like Girls” for jazz vocalist Samantha Sidley (“Now she’s gluing garden gnomes to geodesic domes, people call it junk, I call it art”) spring boarded that record to a “Top 10 Album of The Year” nod from the Los Angeles Times.
Lilly’s latest fulfills the promises she made with her first album and much more.
First, Repetition Is A Sin is funny! Conversational and free, it is the sound of self-actualization. Lilly’s thoughtful and intelligent wordplay, unexpected and exhilarating production touches and emotional vulnerability are pure joy.
Contrasting this with Lilly’s awesome sense of humor, it is also pure power!
And so, with the album opener and first single “Pure Drivel,” Lilly issues an anthem and rebel yell for… librarians! Because, of course.
“I know you canceled all your plans
So come over let’s read some books that got banned mama”
“I wanted to write a stay-in date night about reading — a nerdy booty call,” she says. “I was in a book club over the pandemic, which was interesting as we mostly just drank and smoked and never finished a single book.” Lilly then quickly adds, “I’m not proud of this!”
Lilly spent part of her pre-solo career touring as part of Beck’s band and he attended Lilly’s book club to read the first chapter of “Moby Dick.”
“Because we never finished it, I can only confirm that the first half of ‘Moby Dick’ is great,” she jokes.
What Lilly can confirm absolutely is that Repetition Is A Sin “feels emotionally brighter and more jewel-toned than 2% Milk.”
The trifecta of tunes that open Repetition Is A Sin include “Frank,” in which Lilly mentions her closest friends by name while questioning if she will get to party with them in the afterlife.
“I don’t wanna go to heaven
Cuz none of my friends will be there
No one will be
Getting plastered with me
In the air”
“These are all real people mentioned in the song except for Frank,” Lilly explains. “I don’t know who he is. Maybe I will someday.”
The many character-driven songs on the album were partially inspired by the pandemic.
“Being isolated from people for a bit spurred me on,” Lilly says. “I had a hobby for a while where I was commissioned to write theme songs for humans, including this spectacularly talented and cute tap dancer living in Los Angeles.”
That project inspired the album’s “Melinda.” “Well if I ever turn gay, let’s go, If you ever stop being straight, Well let me know,” Lilly sings.
“It was a lot of fun and I continued the idea of song portraits for several other tracks on this record, almost like creating my own company that includes friends (“Frank”), movie stars (“Rosalind”), a cartoon character’s alter ego (“Bugs Bunny”), my grandma (“Spirit”), and Frank, the made-up drunk.”
The album’s most moving tune is next, a love song like no other. It is an all or nothing moment for Lilly. “I’m Getting Better At Falling In Love” is confessional, vulnerable, optimistic, and hopeful.
And of course, hilarious:
“I’m getting better at falling in love
I’m getting so good, gotta mind to do it full-time
Love muscles getting buff
Now it’s all that I can do”
“I’m Getting Better at Falling in Love” is a happy love song,” Lilly says. “It’s an anomaly for me.”
It’s a tune destined to become some couple’s “our song.” So lovey-dovey, but the humor of it all is still just within arm’s reach.
Lilly invokes “Seinfeld” character George Costanza to make a point about where she’s coming from on this record, asking, “Do you know the episode where George decides to do the opposite of everything he usually does just to see what difference it makes in his life? I could keep making mistakes, but they had to be new ones. Musically and personally. Repetition is a sin.”
On the musical tip, Lilly says, “My recording mindset was very different than it had been in the past. This time, the sounds are dialed in so well, but the feeling is loose.”
To make this happen, on the recommendation of friend and fellow musical risk-taker, John Vanderslice, Lilly worked extensively with engineer James Riotto to create Repetition Is A Sin.
“We went deep into harnessing the sounds of old oscillators and drum machines and then syncing them up using an interface. This was the kind of wizardry I was after!
“It sounded so good off the bat that it didn’t need to be perfect, which is a pretty swift departure from my normal process. Previously, I felt like I had been an actor in a movie, where I could rely more on editing. Now, I was actor in a play, and had to commit to the emotional arc of an entire take.”
Lilly’s movie vs. play analogy is about the best description of this record yet. Unlike a film that you’ve already seen, each listen to Repetition Is A Sin contains the tension of a unique performance. It’s a cliffhanger!
Repetition Is A Sin, the second solo album by Alex Lilly, is out now.
Alex Lilly | Links
Release Me Records