I really like it when people send me new music to listen to. I really like it when it’s good. I really like it when it’s local. I really like when it makes me feel like an idiot for passing on it previously. I really like Lilo Peaks.
Lilo Peaks (AKA Alicia Lineham) out of Auckland isn't a new group to me. I've seen her live a few times before and found it above mediocre, but never really anything to go home and write about. Listening to her new EP ‘Snucks Pt.1’, I can kind of understand why her live shows never blew me away; unless you get this girl in a decent venue behind a serious sound system, her ideas just aren't gonna come across too well. Hopefully next time will be a different story, I feel like I've had some kind of Lilo Peaks epiphany.
The EP opens up with the little musical morsel ‘Waffle Tuesday’.
It’s nothing much to talk about, just a nice piece of musical foreplay to brace you for what’s about to come.
The first real track on the album ‘Love Be Here’ could be my favourite. It might not be, but right now I can’t decide.
To my ears, it appears this track has been recorded with live instruments rather than digital like the rest of the album, giving it somewhat more of a punch.
The weird phasing effect that fades on and off of the drums is a bit annoying and unnecessary, but other than that It’s a really well constructed pop song. It has just enough of an edge not to sound over dramatic, while at the same time it’s able to poke the listener in the eye with guitar tones.
I’m glad this track was included in the EP, it does feel a little bit out of place compared to others, but it shows she isn't a one trick pony.
The next track ‘Bedrroom Talks’ (no that isn't a typo) is where the music really starts to get down to what it’s about.
It might not have been made clear by the previous track, but in essence Lilo Peaks is a synthpop artist. The effected vocals, minimalist instrumentation and monotonous drums all blend well in this tasty piece.
Track number four is ‘Kicks’.
This could almost be amazing. It’s like someone went out and bought all the best and freshest ingredients to make a salad, then gave up and just ate all the components one by one.
All the individual pieces in this song are great, yet somehow the execution falls flat. Don’t get me wrong, I still really like it, but I can’t listen to it because I get annoyed at what could have been.
Someone needs to remix this track, add a bit more of a beat, maybe turn it into something to be rapped over, and it could be one of my favorite NZ releases this year.
Alicia continues to drag you on a glitched out, synthy journey through tracks five, six and seven (‘A - WWDU/BRRT:lk’, ‘Underwater’ and ‘Make Believe’) until the final piece on the release ‘(Long Night) Lethargy’.
A nice choice to finish on, the vocoder and organ sound pairing is done in a way I haven’t heard many times before. Like a few other tracks on the EP, I feel like doing the beats in a different way would benefit the music over all. It’s a bit stop and start for my tastes. Even just really subtle percussion would have given it the little kick it needed.
All up, like I said before, I really do like this EP. Alicia explores a bunch of different approaches, some more effective than others, but overall it’s a really cohesive body of work.
It’s an ambitious first release, and I genuinely look forward to hearing her music develop.