Los Angeles-based artist Alex Lilly is a renaissance female.
In addition to the writing, arranging, producing, and playing of her own music, Lilly has established a notable career out on the road as a part of the touring bands of such esteemed musicians Beck, Lorde, Ry Cooder, and the bird and the bee.
When Lilly’s in L.A, she has stayed busy throughout the years with her own projects such as Obi Best, Touché, Zero DeZire, and The Living Sisters. Now, following-up “Paranoid Times,” her debut EP under her own name, Lilly is bringing all of her ideas and her singular voice to the table in the form of 2% Milk, her debut full-length album, out via newly-formed Release Me Records.
Lilly’s songs – she describes her genre as “Sexy Psychological Thriller” – are synthy, syrupy, and suspicious i.e. there’s something going on here that’s not only pop, but actually pops. The intrigue that abounds on 2% Milk moves the listener beyond toe-tapping and finger-snapping, straight to brain-mapping.
This ability of Lilly’s to take a song out of the realm of merely entertaining to intriguing is all over the album’s first single “Distracting Me,” a tune dedicated to the idea of enjoying the annoying. “What better testament to loving someone than when you enjoy their interruptions?” Lilly explains of the tune. “I resisted a particular friend’s efforts to distract me for a long time but when I finally gave in, I realized it was fun.”
Lilly’s lower tolerance for inanimate irritations informed the album’s songwriting process. “I feel like I can write more easily when I don’t have phone service,” she says of her time on an island outside of Vancouver where most of 2% Milk was written.
When the time came to turn the island demos into tracks, Lilly convened with Jacob Bercovici of The Voidz, who shared her sensibilities: “Like me, Jake has no fear of the ridiculous,” she explains and they ended up recording and producing most of the record together.
Additional production credits go to Andy Bauer (of Twin Shadow), and Lilly herself.
She also co-wrote a track with LA’s own electronic pioneer, Daedelus. “I asked him if he had any instrumental demos lying around I could write a melody and words to, and he had this beautiful piece that sounds like an intricate mechanism. I was so excited to add something to it, like a fancy chain to an already remarkable pocket watch.”
The album’s title track “2% Milk,” was adapted by Lilly from a poem by Jacqueline Suskind, a Los Angeles-based poet known for improvising work on the spot off of a given subject.
2% Milk is the first release for the newly-formed Release Me Records, founded by musician Inara George, both friend and bandmate to Lilly via their previous work together as part of The Living Sisters, Zero DeZire, and when Lilly plays live in the bird and the bee. Lilly’s first full-length is scheduled for release on Jan. 11th, 2019 in digital, CD, and vinyl formats, preceded by her single and music video for “Distracting Me” and her second soon-to-be-released single “Pornographic Mind”.