Friday, November 9, 2012
Lilys / Big Troubles split on Speakertree Records
I've somehow managed to keep my big mouth shut about this single Blair told me about a few weeks ago, I think we happened to talk about the Lilys or something and this came up. The Lilys and really Kurt Heasley are one of those bands that really had to grow on me...I think it started with A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns which had all of that layered speaker melting epic guitar with his trademark harmony work, which of coure took on a life of it's own in future releases. Partially it was hard to know what to make of it, but like Deerhoof or Xiu Xiu, the more I keep putting this on, (sadly I only have some old MP3's) the more I appreciate what a freaking genius Kurt is. I do have that Nanny in Manhattan single which is what blew it all open for me. This hyper Pet Sounds aesthetic... just incredibly complex songwriting that must have been impossible to recreate live.
A friend who had some success in the late '90s went to record their full length with Kurt in an old Colt 45 warehouse and the process working with him sounded completely amazing. The ideas he brought to the table as a producer made me rethink that entire idea, how much he loved working with other artists and being able to put his own touch on these bands just starting out....really inspiring.
"Well Traveled is Protest" is one of those moments, and I've probably built it up now way too much of course, but while it's playing you already want to restart it because it's actually happening...a new track! I'm missing things, it's going by too fast...completely dense with that flowing distinctly Lilys harmony that reminds me of the garage '60s kinks sound or all progressive rock filtered through an experimental take on every sound that hits the wax. One measure of reverse guitar... a piercing whistle organ note grinding through the whole pile, there's hardly a repeated section, the whole thing is always changing. He gets away with these Malkmus style lyrics and bizarre english glam harmonies. There's a little of that indie rock goofy style and Cheap Time's devotion to that layered T-Rex huge sound. It's baffling the places this track goes, the folk style style start, the pavement refrain, the Ziggy Stardust chorus. I pray this leads to rereleasing his previous material and a new record.
Big Troubles hit me a couple years back with a couple of singles I picked up on Olde English Spelling Bee and I can see how they're completely related in their own dense pop approaches. Big Troubles is playing with a nostalgia sound and all kind of fuzz and hiss, in unexpected directions... maybe experimenting more with what they can get away with surrounding a pop song and the recording process....both of these guys are about the process...a heavy involved process that results in tracks that take a lot of serious examination while being able to appreciate them on that surface pop level. It's up to you.
This historic single is up for presale over at speakertree, I had to post about it before I even got my review copy because I'm sure this isn't going to be out there very long.
I've also been digging that Swimsuit album, especially the back photo...it's got a kind of Brilliant Colors, Broken Water kind of indie brut sound, swapping guy girl vocals...just raw and pop and punk all at the same time.