http://liliesonmars.com/ / Facebook
My next two posts are both from artists that I've had sitting as 'starred' on my gmail account since the turn of the year, instead of posting a video and two words I try and write a few paragraphs on my posts so I do tend to struggle to post more than one or two a day given a (standard) pretty hectic work / family / social life... last night someone I know mentioned Lilies on Mars, it was enough to trigger a click on the email and write my typical waffle...
A three piece based in London, Lilies on Mars describe themselves as an experimental shoegaze band on their Soundcloud, it may just be me but when I read shoegaze I tend to think of My Bloody Valentine type bands with pretty indistinguishable vocals and a bleeding, feedback driven wall of sound, that description is not the case with Lilies on Mars. (On the whole) Their sound is utterly delicious, made out of sweet vocals, smooth keys and swirling guitars that offers a wonderful mixture of dream-pop, indie-rock and folkier moments throughout their second album 'Wish You Were a Pony' (released 23rd May - buy). There are some pictures of a hand-made limited edition CD on the groups facebook, they look nice...
I'll start with the first track I heard, "Aquarium's Key" a light, shimmery intro before the uniquely accented vocals enter in a dreamlike haze, the song is a perfect introduction to the band with its luscious and rich arrangements, bursting with sumptuous melodies, sparkling cycling guirar riffs and purposeful percussion.
There are some serenely beautiful moments ("Hiding Under Water" / "Coming Slowly Undone) gorgeous throughout, lush vocal harmonies and dreamy melodies create a laid-back and ethereal sound, another favourite is the tender lullaby "I'm Confused, It's OK" a particular delicate beauty, you can imagine a sunny day with a book whilst these soothe you with all sort of aural loveliness.
As well as the soft-focus there's a more urgent side best portrayed on "A Lost Cause" underpinned by crunching guitars and a crisp, driving drumbeat, and "Angry Lullaby" which starts the polar opposite before switching to a dirty, grungy sound of rough-edged guitars, piercing howling cries and discordant vocals which almost makes you think your CD has got muddled up and you've found that MBV comparison I'd written off.
Give a few tracks a listen below and discover for yourself that it's rather wonderful. There are some London shows coming up, dates here.
Aquarium's Key by Lilies on Mars
Hiding Under Water by Lilies on Mars
Angry Lullaby by Lilies on Mars