Beast Records (label)
17 February 2014 (released)
18 March 2014
Pilgrim is the third solo album by Melbourne artist Lilith Lane, and mixes sonic surrealism with seething blues guitars and a raucous garage sound.
Delicate strings and restrained percussions open ‘Sun Set Fire’, the track gently glimmers while Lilith’s superb vocals are firmly at the forefront.
With its distinctive bass beat and percussion, ‘I Could Get Used To This’ has strong rockabilly undertones, yet the monotone musical arrangement won’t allow for much manoeuvring or detouring. Yet, it’s thanks to the song’s simplicity that it works so well.
‘I Get Wicked’ is a broody weave of dark lyrics, post-Ennio Morricone spaghetti western imagery, Link Wray hooks, various guitars ranging from gun smokin’ to acoustic (courtesy of Mike Mariconda), and an overall feel of looming menace. Imagine this one being performed in a tequila dive somewhere in New Mexico, and you get the idea.
A fuzz distorted bass and a constant break in pace make ‘Baby Elephant Print’ (Gina) a tune that’s not immediately memorisable, but once you get used to the shift then the number really is a grower. It also the perfect vehicle for Lilith’s impressive vocal range!
Heartache and all the emotions that come with it are perfectly captured in the fine ballad ‘Higher Than This’, one of the most beautiful tracks on the album. Instruments are only sparsely applied, instead, lyrics and to-the-point singing reveal universal woes.
Piercing, rotating drum beats (courtesy of Jimena) which evoke images of a parade, combined with screeching guitar twangs, is not something one associates with the word ‘Champagne’ (the song’s title). You can’t help but imagine some demented pied piper of Hamelin, albeit catching unsuspecting children with his drum instead of a flute. Instead, our songstress hollers and belts out words that belie such assumptions – really, she sings about kisses that taste like champagne and feelings that make her boots shake. Trust me, things don’t get much better than this!
‘Can’t Get Enough’ is another dirty rockabilly-garage number, with some sizzling Duane Eddy twangs, and an uninhibited bass line (courtesy of Paco) that grabs you. No wonder Ms. Lane proclaims that she can’t get enough of this.
Sly, creeping and bluesy, that’s what ‘For You Non-Believer… Ask My’ sounds like. It’s not the most uplifting number, but its raw quality descends nicely into finer chords before penetrating the brain for another round and another one. ‘Voodoo Vein’ follows suit.
Finally, ‘Slow Creeper’ has blues dripping from its arrangement like a pancake has syrup dripping from the plate. It brings everything to a soothing melt, like a warm stream running through your body. Deeply seductive, and deeply harmonious! If this is where Lilith’s pilgrimage comes to an end, then she’s chosen the right direction.
The album was recorded live at Sónica, Madrid, by Ramón Moreira and mixed by Mike Mariconda at Active Sound, Texas.