(All Album Reviews by Epilepticgibbon)
I've been introduced to a lot of artists via MySpace but in the case of Lily Green I didn't so much come across her music on MySpace as she found me. She noticed that I liked the music of Tori Amos, Bjork, and Fiona Apple and contacted me suggesting that I might enjoy her music too.
Now I'm often suspicious when people contact me out of the blue, particularly when they reel off artists that they like because it's one thing to appreciate quality artists but quite another to sound like them, and something else again to produce original music that is anywhere near as good. However, I listened to some of Lily's tracks and was more than pleasantly surprised.
This CD is Lily's debut release and is listed as being an EP, though at over 30 minutes and with eight tracks it could easily be thought of as a mini-album at least. She's multi-talented too, acting as composer, singer, and songwriter on this CD and providing all the vocals, piano and programming.
With regards to the artists she mentioned when she first contacted me, well they're quite easy to detect on a least some of the tracks on this album. Opening track 'Patience', for example, has the kind of wild and rambling piano you'd expect from a Tori Amos or Fiona Apple track, and it sounds great too.
But as soon as we hit track two, 'With Us Or', it becomes clear that Lily is not some predictable Amos/Apple copyist... there's something very edgy and experimental but still definitely very rock 'n' roll about this track. It has an abstract, stark and off-kilter sound to it that you might expect more from likes of Bjork, PJ Harvey, or Tori Amos on her more experimental 'From The Choirgirl Hotel' album.
In fact it's worth stating that Lily's musical tastes do stretch much further than aforementioned Amos, Bjork and Apple; Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Beethoven, David Bowie, Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Aphex Twin and Autechre are all influences she cites and it's an intriguing mix that she draws from, sometimes in obvious ways, but often direct influences are much harder to detect.
For example, track three, 'Hold On' makes use of a harpsichord effect that gives the track a vaguely classical feel, but her beguiling vocals take it in a totally different and much more modern direction. Definitely one of the most beautiful and affecting tracks on the CD.
Fourth track 'Take It' is more uptempo and energetic with electronic rhythms and percussion mixed in with the piano and layers of vocals, whilst the oddly hypnotic 'Your Hands' opts for a stranger electronic background and distorted vocals, a combination that reminds me a little of 'Kid A' and 'Amnesiac' era Radiohead.
The electronic experimentation continues with the darker 'Two Worlds', which oddly strikes me as being like a cross between the aforementioned period of Radiohead and something from the Trevor Horn-produced-era of Grace Jones' musical career.
'Imprint' is the penultimate track on the CD and also the shortest â€“ just over a minute's worth of what sounds like a collage of looped backwards vocals and instruments, which makes for an interesting and slightly freaky experiment that thankfully doesn't outstay its welcome.
And then we reach the final track, 'Starry Sky', which may be the standout track on the CD, a simple but beautiful, atmospheric and perfectly constructed piano ballad.
Overall, despite drawing on some famous acts and styles as influences, Lily has produced a collection of songs that is both eclectic and original. She seems more than comfortable mixing classical and modern electronic elements, has a great ear for wonderful songwriting but is not afraid to experiment and mix things up, plus her fantastic vocal style stands out on every track. If this selection of songs is anything to go by then she should have a great future ahead of her.
Best tracks: 'Patience', 'Hold On', 'Your Hands', 'Two Worlds', and â€˜Starry Sky'.