A Lily
Wake:Sleep
Textura

Posted by By at 19 August, at 05 : 32 AM Print

In his solo project A Lily, James Vella creates willowy instrumental dreampop whose pitter-pattering beats, chiming melodies, softly murmuring voices, and fluttering guitars sound like they’re emerging from behind a translucent scrim. Inspired by his girlfriend Leanna, Wake:Sleep is a valentine set to music created by the Canterbury resident and Yndi Halda guitarist using primarily computer and electric and acoustic guitars, but also accordion, piano, drums, glockenspiel, bass, and pretty much anything else within reach. A Lily’s sound—somewhat akin to a Manual-Xela-Múm (sans vocals) hybrid—establishes itself in representative material like “Lights Shone Brighter. My Delicate Sun Is My Sparklin’ Sun” where a babbling brook of fragmented children’s voices and laughter sits alongside liquid guitar lines. One of the album’s most distinctive aspects is its pairing of six ‘waking’ songs and two ten- and finally thirty-four minute ambient epics, both of them improvisations recorded live using guitar and delay pedals (the two, by Vella’s own admission, originally recorded for Leanna’s private listening and sleep-inducement). As one might expect, the hypnotically hazy settings are constituted by long flowing lines that blur into one another and, yes, do convincingly realize in sonic form (“The Shipwreck” especially) the unconscious calm one associates with deep sleep.

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