A Thousand Pictures With A Simple Croon

Lily is an Australian singer songwriter based in Fremantle. She was introduced to the world through her Dreamer EP, on which she performs beautiful love songs penned by her collaborative partner Billie Reid. Recently and with her new single Ariel, she’s stepped out on her own to expose the world to her raw and evocative songwriting, alongside her gorgeous vocal talent.

Easy listening is a tagline that’s often attached to artists of a sombre character, and songwriters who pen democratic pieces of love and loss. These musicians selflessly offer their material for listeners to adopt the world over. Their lyrics are captivating beasts that embody the fragile and complicated nature of society and, in particular, the way in which we engage with one another. Their words are usually pivotal to their music, not just because of their demanding nature, but because of the way they’re delivered – carefully, with control, but also with ample feeling. The description of ‘easy’ does little to reflect the soulful depths of these purveyors of heart. In fact, it can corrupt the representation.

Performing under the moniker of Lily, this Fremantle singer songwriter has invariably found herself acquainted with the pigeonhole of easy listening. Anyone privy to Lily’s musical wanderings will know talent like hers comes far from ‘easy’. Anyone unaware of her masterful seduction is in for a rude, albeit sumptuous and beautiful awakening.

Lily first entered the recording studio with fellow Fremantle musician Billie Reid, to record versions of two of his tracks under the title of the Dreamer EP. The record was released through the Ode To The Dudes label, and contains original recordings of “In Dreams With You” and “Love Song 612”, alongside instrumental versions of both. Dreamer highlights and revels in Lily’s gorgeous and unmistakable musicianship. Opening with “In Dreams With You”, a lush, country-inspired melody calls to mind Nashville’s finest. Like those that follow, the song invokes an image of love at its peak with a simple but resounding note that “love is everywhere”. The record has achieved critical acclaim, and rightly so, with listeners noting similarities between Lily and Diana Ross, amongst others.

Although the project’s leading lady remains shrouded in mystery, Dreamer hints at Lily’s past. Her pseudonym is taken from Reid’s song “Gilded Lily”, and is in (coincidental) tribute to the passing of their mutual friend of the same name. Born out of creativity and deep emotion; the two factors continue to be integral to Lily’s work.

Since the recording of Dreamer with Billie Reid, Lily has started to forge her own creative path. Her stunning single “Ariel” continues to make a name for the young singer songwriter. It offers a glimpse of a song, the eponymous “Ariel”, in the making; broken down on instrumental and backing tracks, but always in possession of true artistic integrity. Both performed and written by Lily, an array of musicians contributed to the record, including Grammy Award winner Lucky Oceans, and Roy Martinez on bass. The original version of “Ariel” was produced by Rob Agostini, a prolific sound engineer and songwriter who’s also responsible for the upkeep of the revered Soundbaker studios in Perth, Australia.

The original track, “Ariel” opens with the same Nashville twang found on “In Dreams With You”, but quickly develops to showcase Lily’s diverse and eclectic knowledge of the music scenes that have surrounded her since birth. Raised in Tennessee and of Euroasian descent, Lily was born to artistic parents and surrounded by the music of iconic and celebrated musicians from an early age. It shows. Influenced by Norah Jones, Emiliana Torrini and Corrine Bailey Ray, although Lily considers Fremantle home, the call of multiple cultures can be heard in her music.

All that said, a standout aspect of Lily’s career to date is undoubtedly her vocal. The 28-year-old’s voice contains wisdom well beyond her years, calling out to the depths of time to expose an enduring and unforgettable quality. It’s the kind of soulful power that her peers crave and her seniors strive to get back. Lily can paint a thousand pictures with a simple croon, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tiffany Daniels