WATCH: Shana Cleveland – ‘Don’t Let Me Sleep’

For me, Shana Cleveland’s new single is something from another time in an alternate universe. ‘Don’t Let Me Sleep’, from her upcoming album, has shimmering guitar licks reminiscent of a desert wanderer. Layer that over Cleveland’s effervescent vocals and it’s a sterling performance of futurist folklore; a psychedelic vision explored in the music video that accompanies the track’s release.

With the vast palm-scattered soundscapes of her other project La Luz to influence her sound, Cleveland’s ‘Don’t Let Me Sleep’ is a sonic homage to the great guitar-wielding crooners of days gone by, with distinct shades of the likes of ‘Moon River’ and ‘Wichita Lineman’.

With this exquisite track as our first taste, it seems that Shana Cleveland’s first foray into a full-length LP is less of a dipping of toes into new waters, and more of a full body submersion into a warm oasis pool, the waves rippling into an infinite sea of ethereal sound and peaceful refrains. Night of the Worm Moon is already looking to be a serene reverie, and with influences rooted in the Afro-futurism of Sun Ra and cosmic consciousness, it may be the perfect score for a midnight journey through starlit desert.

Night Of The Worm Moon, the upcoming album from Shana Cleveland, is out 5th April via Hardly Art.

Luke Janke
@jankeleg

Photo Credit: Eleanor Petry

WATCH: Lala Lala – ‘Water Over Sex’

Stop-motion animation, personal anguish and drifting lo-fi sounds permeate the new visuals for Lala Lala‘s latest single ‘Water Over Sex’. The track is taken from her upcoming album The Lamb, released on September 28th via Hardly Art.

Based in Chicago, Lala Lala (aka Lillie West) says the new track is based on a paranoid feeling that any “good fortune” she encountered would be “subsequently taken away” to “balance the scales” after a home invasion. Whilst this sounds like a sad premise, Lillie’s music feels far from melancholy with its jangly guitar sounds and dreamy vocals.

The video for ‘Water Over Sex’ was co-directed by Matthew James-Wilson and Toronto-based illustrator Ginette Lapalme. Matthew explains the video’s inception further: “I know Ginette from the comics scene in Toronto and, since Lillie is a fan (with her stickers on her guitar case and a few tattoos of her drawings), I wanted to work on an animated music video with her for the new album. We spent a week straight shooting using fabric, photocopies, Ginette’s collection of miniatures and knick-knacks, and stuff we found at 99 cent stores in Chinatown. The video follows a lamb doll (which Ginette made) continually daydreaming about the objects around her while she tries to live a relaxing life. We wanted to sort of indirectly reference the conflict in the song about how your lifestyle changes after you quit drinking. Since we all live in three different cities and couldn’t film Lillie for it, I asked Lillie to send over webcam footage of her singing the song that we could animate over.”

Originally from London, Lillie moved with her family to Los Angeles, where she spent her teenage years and later to Chicago. She started Lala Lala as a way to communicate things she felt she could never say out loud; touching on issues like intense paranoia, deaths of loved ones, and re-examinations of existing relationships.

‘Water Over Sex’ is another exploration of some of these intensely relatable themes. Watch the video for it below and follow Lala Lala on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order Lala Lala’s new album The Lamb here.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Lala Lala – ‘Destroyer’

Originally from London, Chicago-based artist Lillie West – aka Lala Lala – initially starting the project as a means to process emotions and communicate things that she felt she could never say out loud. Now, following 2016’s debut Sleepyhead, she’s quit drinking, books her own DIY tours and has now announced her second album The Lamb. A reflection on finding strength in vulnerability, it addresses issues such as her fraught insecurity, struggles with addiction, and the loss of several people close to her.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Destroyer’ is a perfect slice of dreamy, lo-fi scuzz. Oozing West’s gritty, raw vocals and building to a sublime, twinkling chorus, it’s an infectious and affecting offering that leaves us longing for more of Lala Lala’s immersive creations.

Of the track, West explains:

“… (it’s) about retroactively realizing your feelings and trying to figure out what happened to get you where you are. Feeling out of control and like you’re stuck in a feedback loop.” 

Directed by West and Brielle Brilliant, the accompanying video finds Lillie protecting herself in an ongoing fight against destroyers. Watch it here:

The Lamb, the upcoming album from Lala Lala, is out 28th September via Hardly Art.

Mari Lane
@marimindles