Ariel | Lily

“This self-styled chanteuse is not just a pretty face … and a stunning vocalist”

With Lily’s Eurasian heritage and her deep love of backwater Nashville country sounds, it somehow makes complete logical sense that Lily has found a home on the Australian west coast city of Fremantle; a place, as it turns out, which suitably typifies her far-ranging and eclectic scope as a newly emergent vocal and songwriting talent. Expanding on the soft country palettes and broken-hearted melancholy of her ‘Dreamer’ EP, ‘Ariel’ advances her sound towards a more fully-fledged singer-songwriter fare, marking her glittering entrance into the multifaceted world of sophisto-pop.

Not just a pretty face and a stunning vocalist, ‘Ariel’ was composed by Lily herself, revealing her innate talent as a songwriter in an industry where songwriting talent is too often treated as extra-curricular to those more superficial aspects of the pop world, such as image and presentation. Lily, it turns out, is the full package.

‘Ariel’ is for the downtrodden and the broken-hearted. This is a musical product made for anyone who has ever felt the full force of the sudden emotional violence that change can bring. Lily laments for a lost lover and the things “that I can’t have”, in the style of a more introspective Mariah Carey. It’s is a musical document which captures the smoke rising from the dissolution of a once passionate relationship. With restrained anger, Lily plaintively details a domestic world of bliss turned upside on its head, uprooted by cruel fate, as she sings sad couplets such as “tomorrow I will open my eyes to empty sheets beside me.” The music provides a perfect set of end credits to a relationship gone awry.

The production and musical accompaniments are subtle and controlled. The track features country-style slide guitars which work as a gentle reminder that, despite her new eclectic scope, Lily hasn’t abandoned the folky compulsions of her previous ‘Dreamer’ EP. Well-thought-out details like these show that, despite her rising pop pretensions, Lily remains true to her roots. This musical sincerity is clear to the listener.

From the simple piano and vocal balladeering of the first verse, ‘Ariel’ gradually unravels with the musical elegance of a lotus flower, featuring the soft beats and light electronic flourishes of a well-sheened modern pop production. The yearning strings which come in towards the end of the track are particularly reminiscent of Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, and these musical similarities are further compounded by the lyrical themes, which beautifully capture the sorrow of a once treasured love now lost.

Who knows for how long the denizens of Fremantle can contain the international talents of this rising superstar. For now Lily remains a self-styled (Fremantle) chanteuse, although, based on the strength of this single, it’s clear that she will be going places in no time.

Liam Allen