INTERVIEW: chatting with Brissie songstress LILAH
There is beauty in the breakdown, and for Brisbane artist Lilah (aka Zoe Ward), there are layers of exquisite pain and dizzying elegance beneath soaring vocals and dense arrangements, as evident in her first two singles 'Hold Me' and 'Pushed Your Hands'.
Innately striking and dramatic, Lilah's releases to date bring a remarkable maturity to the usual cliched topics of heartbreak and pain - her stoic vocals never falter amid the lush and stunningly produced backdrops, and it's pop-meets-synthwave-meets-the dreamiest damn ambient electronica you've heard in a long time.
Sure, we've all heard the break-up songs from the likes of Taylor, Lana and Adele, but there's something inescapably captivating about Lilah and her heavy-hitting soundscapes that places her as one of the most exciting young female artists to crop up on the local scene. And with a huge 2018 in store, The Soundcheck took a few moments to delve behind the synths and ethereal melodies to find out a bit more about the lady behind Lilah..
Where are you from?
I was born in Singapore but grew up in Noosa on The Sunshine Coast. I'm currently back living here for a little while.
How long have you been playing music?
Properly since I was 17...I'm 23 now so yeah six years! Time has flown.
Who are some of your influences?
The 1975, Sigur Ros, Flume, Lana Del Rey & The Japanese House are some of my biggest influences.
Describe your musical style in three words:
Ambient atmospheric electronica.
What's been your most memorable gig so far?
That would have been a show I played at The Zoo in Fortitude Valley in 2015. Everyone I loved was there and it was a really special time. I remember I was so nervous before I played and I didn't think I was going to be able to do it but as soon as I was playing I knew how much I had missed that amazing feeling of playing music live.
Who is your dream band/artist to tour with?
Who are some of your favourite local bands in Brisbane?
I'm really loving Hatchie, have always loved everything Jeremy Neale does and Violent Soho would have to be on the list.
Tell us a bit about your recent single 'Pushed Your Hands' - what was the writing and creative process like with that track?
It was a weird experience. I literally just remember sitting on the couch and playing around with chords on a keyboard and writing down words. It took some time to get it to where it is now but it feels like the song kind of wrote itself in a weird way - it happened quite quickly. I think this was by far the most therapeutic song to write and it felt like I was really letting something go.
What are you currently working on? Anything new on the horizon?
At the moment I am just figuring out whether I want to go straight into an EP or head overseas for a while, I would love to do both! I really just want to keep writing new music and creating.
If you weren't playing music, what would you be doing?
I think I would work with kids or be a counsellor of some type. I work full time in hospitality now so I can pursue music but it's definitely been something I have put thought into lately. The older I get the more I think about what other careers I would do on the side and it would be nice to do something I could help people with and feel like I'm giving back to people in some way.
If you had to be stranded on a desert island with one other band/artist, who would it be?
Architects, any day! They are a hilarious bunch of guys from what I've seen over Instagram stories and general stalking and claim to love rum...
Pineapple on a pizza, yes or no?
YES!! How could you not!?
Is there an artist or band that you listen to in your downtime that might surprise your fans?
Yep! Architects are one of my all-time favourite bands. I have been to every show they have played in Brisbane and probably listen to them just as much as everything else daily. I've always loved Bring Me The Horizon and could probably scream back to you every lyric of their last two albums. Hardcore music is by far one of my top favourite genres. People would probably think that seeing me in day to day life with the way I dress etc but probably not by listening to the kind of music I make!
And finally, what's one song by another band or artist that you wish you'd personally written?
Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen. That's definitely a song I would have wanted to write - probably everyone does! The lyrics, the music, the royalties! haha
Keep your eyes and ears out for a whole lot more from this delightful artist in the near future - but in the meantime for more info head to: www.facebook.com/Lilahmusic
BY TIANA SPETER