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