Following the release of her latest album, I Want The Door To Open via Hardly Art earlier this year, Chicago-based musician Lillie West aka LALA LALA is preparing to take her altruistic electronic sounds on tour across Europe and the UK in February 2022. Choosing to look beyond herself for themes and inspirations when creating this record, West co-produced the album with Yoni Wolf of WHY?, and had contributions from poet Kara Jackson, OHMME, Gia Margaret and her former tour mate Ben Gibbard.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with LALA LALA to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired her song-writing techniques. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch her video for her ‘DIVER’ at the end of this post.


1. Hildegaard – ‘Jour 8’
Hildegaard was introduced to me by my friend Pascal (Fashion Club) when I asked her what I should listen to on a bike ride. This whole album is a masterpiece. I think the production is perfect, it’s sparse but very intentional. This song in particular I’m truly obsessed with – the vocal loop, the bass line, the intertwining voices, the lyrics, the beat coming in half way through. I’m very inspired by Hildegaard, their music is restrained but super impactful. Enchanting.

2. John Carroll Kilby – ‘Walking Through A House Where A Family Has Lived’
I’ve been really into piano music lately and John Carrol Kilby is a beautiful contemporary pianist. I find this record to be very emotional. I don’t know how to play piano really at all, but I aspire to make a piano record and I listen to this all the time for inspiration. It makes me think of… wind? Wind moving leaves. Looking out a window peeling an orange.

3. FPA – ‘Baby’
I listened to this song for the first time walking down the street in the morning in Chinatown in NYC. My friend Andrew sent me the record because he worked on it some. I think it’s so incredible. I love this song. “My body pure, have I not paid it forward? My heart, she beats, did I not lay her on you?” The record is a story she wrote about Princess Wiko. I really want to collaborate with her.

4. Alabaster DePlume – ‘Whisky Story Time’
Wonderful saxophone player, very reminiscent of Mulatu Astatke. Introduced to me by my partner via the label he is a part of – International Anthem, which I highly recommend, everything they release is special. I love this style of saxophone playing, very loose, fluid? Sam Gendel is another sax player I love. Lately I’ve been mostly drawn to instrumental music, maybe because I’ve been stressed… Sometimes it’s just too much to hear other people’s words all the time. Anyway I love this record and Gus is also British, like me…

5. Dua Saleh, Amaarae – ‘fitt’
Two artists I love collaborating. Amaarae was introduced to me by my bandmate Yasmine who is a longtime super fan of her. I listened on our flight together to California. I love the panning on the distorted blown out beat. I love dancing to this song. It just moves around in a really satisfying way. I also love a pitched down vocal. Produced by Dua and Psymum.

Thanks to LALA LALA for sharing her favourite songs with us.
Watch her video for ‘DIVER’ below.

LALA LALA UK Tour Dates 2022
Feb 20 – The Green Door Store – Brighton, United Kingdom
Feb 21 – Moth Club – London, United Kingdom
Feb 23 – Hyde Park Book Club – Leeds, United Kingdom
Feb 24 – Nice N Sleazy – Glasgow, United Kingdom
Feb 25 – YES – Manchester, United Kingdom
Feb 26 – Strange Brew – Bristol, United Kingdom

Follow LALA LALA on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Miwah Lee

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Lala Lala – ‘Diver’

Following previous albums Sleepyhead and 2018’s The Lamb, Chicago-based artist Lillie West – aka Lala Lala – has now announced the release of a brand new LP, I Want The Door To Open. Set for release in October, the collection offers an epic sonic exploration of persona and presence; a subtle insight into an artist’s quest to fully be themselves in a world full of barriers.

Epitomising the album’s themes of self-discovery and growth, first single ‘Diver‘ flows with a shimmering haze and magnetising allure. Oozing Lala Lala’s trademark dreamy, lo-fi scuzz, it builds with a cinematic splendour and subtle grandeur as layers of almost orchestral musicality (with contributions from musician Nnamdi Ogbonnaya) are interwoven to create something beautifully stirring. Exuding a raw emotion and sweeping ethereal grace, it offers an endearing intimacy; exposing us to West’s refreshing honesty and a heartfelt vulnerability. An exquisite exploration of life’s journey to find our true selves.

Of the track, West expands:

I want total freedom, total possibility, total acceptance. I want to fall in love with the rock. (The rock in question is a reference to Sisyphus, the mythical figure doomed by the gods to forever push a boulder up from the depths of hell.)… I think it’s easy to feel like we keep making the same mistakes over and over again, that we’re Sisyphus. The key is falling in love with the labor of walking up the mountain.” 

Directed by Brielle Brilliant & West, ‘Diver’ is accompanied by a glistening new video. Watch it now:

I Want The Door To Open, the upcoming new album from Lala Lala, is set for release on 8th October via Hardly Art.

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Michael Schmelling

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