Thursday, May 29, 2014 Behind The Scenes: Meet The Cult: Lila Gold
Meet Lila Gold, an up-and-coming Sydney singer-songwriter. We wanted to get to know her, so we asked her to tell us all about the music that has made the biggest impact on her.
For me it’s all about the affection you feel the second you hear ‘that’ song. In all honesty I don’t have a musical ‘taste’, I’m all over the place with what I like — I don’t care where it’s come from, I just want to know where it’s all going. It’s all about that one spark in a song that lights a glow to a place I’m either familiar with or have never ever been before. These are the songs that unconditionally do that for me.
N.E.R.D ft. Kelis and Pusha T ‘Truth or Dare’
The bassline in this track is so demanding and it burns out all innocence. The dirty vocals are thrown away so effortlessly. I saw N.E.R.D at the Enmore Theater in Sydney in 2004 when I was in Year 4. I was the youngest in the crowd, on my cousin’s shoulders, screaming at the top of my lungs. That was my first mosh pit experience. It was stinking hot and packed and I was just so impressed and blown away. The solid fusion sound that The Neptunes produce is what makes them tangible and timeless. Not to mention N.E.R.D stands for ‘No one Ever Really Dies’. I like that.
The Cure ‘Pictures Of You’
This adoring serenade is my number one song for when I’m alone. The dreamlike floating layers are really pretty and, if I’m going to get real cheesy, I’ll even go so far as to say that it gives me some clarity. Anthemic elevating melodies with guitars are what get me. All I can remember is that the moment I heard this, I sank deep into the realms of my bedroom and probably shut everyone out for a while. It wrapped me up and held me real tight. Even though it’s way before my time I don’t care, it’s always felt relevant to me.
Jake Bugg ‘Seen It All’
I came across this when I heard it played on late-night radio driving home one night, and I quickly swerved and pulled over to Shazam it. It wasn’t the sound that struck me, it was the lyrics — you know it’s someone young who’s about to shoot from the hip with honesty. I didn’t pull back out onto the road; instead I sat in my car in the dead of the night and listened all the way through. I seem to be attracted to the flaws in the darkness of growing up: the harsh little bittersweet realities, the broken dreams and trials and tribulations. As Leonard Cohen would say, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” It’s messy and a little raw but its genuine, it’s not just wordplay. It’s a comforting type of guilt when you can relate to something that shines a little trouble. I’ve learned to write that way, baring all the gritty details, but for the sake of release, not for the sake of showing off the stuff I’ve done. It sounds better when you know it’s real.
David Bowie ‘Heroes’
This is the ultimate after-party song. This is when everyone’s faded out and you still want to believe in grasping more after the sunrise, but really you know the showdown is all over. You’ve destroyed and conquered the night, so now you’re setting your sights on what’s to come. The best party songs to me aren’t obvious; they don’t talk about a cliché agenda.
Instead, they have a hopeful and vulnerable quality to them. I spin around and get down to this. The guitar is like a siren, it’s addictive and has this strung-out quality that just soaks you up.
Kanye West ‘Runaway’
If we are going to talk about what’s impacted me musically, I have to mention ‘Runaway’ because it just wouldn’t feel right not including it. To me, it’s a modern rendition of the best love song to date. It makes your stomach drop and your heart ache. I could rant on and dissect away but all in all it’s just an undeniably damn good song. When it came out I felt like, OK, Ye’s broken down some more big doors and pushed past the conditioned plebs so unapologetically and just aced it, so maybe I can do that too! I’m sure he’s made a lot of creatives feel that way. It all ends up speaking for itself — always.
Shuggie Otis ‘Strawberry Letter #23′
Shuggie is such a maverick and was way ahead of his time. When I heard this song and tried to get it in my hands, iTunes didn’t even have it! I was freaking out, thinking, “How am I going to find it?” I wanted the real deal: a hard copy. And then I came across a vinyl version online and snatched it up and then I was like, “OK… now I’m going to have to find a record player so I can play this damn thing!” And I did just that. All for the sake of Shuggie! His voice is not only beautiful but he’s like a one-man band. I was told he recorded this in his basement, where he produced the album Inspiration Information all by himself. He was doing his stuff at home self-sufficiently way before all the bedroom producers do now! The melody is like a nursery rhyme and it’s really stuck with me. The production is so clever and multi-layered. I think it’s ageless. That’s when you know something is real good.
Kelela ‘Cut 4 Me’
Kelela is so refreshing. Her growling sound has shown me to not hold back, and to play with the alpha role of thick, dark sounds versus sweet, chiming girly vocals. Juxtaposition never goes unnoticed. The sound is a totally new take on classic female classic R&B, but it’s progressively more daring and empowering. A change is coming, and it’s good.
Blood Orange ‘You’re Not Good Enough’
I’ve been inspired by Dev Hynes’ twanging guitar licks and motifs; they’re so slick. Although they seem tidy, they have a sense of release, too. The bass totally struts on top of the track. You can outline and differentiate all the different parts that the instruments are playing; nothing’s being lost or buried. I really favour clean, luxurious and crystallized sounds. This is what makes my ears ring.
This song has had a big effect on me this year. It’s not trendsetting or sheepishly yearning for something that’s ‘now’. It’s all about the words — that’s what matters to me. That’s what takes over the world: the special kind of striking melodies and gleaming words that give reason and will. At first I heard this and didn’t feel like it was finished. It sounded like something from a talent show, still in its infant stage. But then I realised that’s its whole charm! The lyrics are really thoughtful but the sound is unpolished and uncomplicated. It’s a gem of its own kind.
Future ft. André 3000 ‘Benz Friendz (Watchutola)’
This track is a big deal for me right now. Future’s vocoder vocals are so well executed. Stevie Wonder was doing the vocoder thing before anyone and when I heard that for the first time on his records I was amused and I still am. Just like the little girl I was then, I’m still fascinated when I hear any sort of manipulation of the voice — it’s the most amazing instrument; I think exploring the possibilities of its sound is limitless. That’s the sweetest freedom. I can envision André spitting his verses with his eyes shut. It’s like he’s making it all up as he goes, he’s so damn sharp and colourful.
Ariane Halls is a writer, editor, music person and cat owner who has lived in Sydney forever. She spent four years as Deputy Editor of Oyster magazine before leaving to do fun things like freelance for Nasty Gal and Food For Fashion, and recently started her dream job producing Australian TV show Rage, which means she gets to watch music videos all day, every day and get paid for it. She also DJs from time to time so she can afford to buy clothes and maybe a house.