Give Me Five…featuring Lala Lala and WHY?

Countdown to New Year’s. The last week of the year. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, but now it’s time to turn the page. Give Me Five is becoming a weekly feature, on Wednesday’s. Five songs that I can’t stop listening to, that I’m obsessing over, that I’ve just discovered, or re-discovered, or never stopped discovering.

I’m open to recommendations. You can leave them in the comments, or email them to me at lyrique.discorde at gmail.

Give Me Five – December 28, 2022

Song 1: “Siren 042” by Lala Lala and WHY?

Lillie West (Lala Lala) – photo by Michael Schmelling

“Siren 042” by Lala Lala and WHY? – from the single, Siren 042 (2019)

“And I’m sorry I was evil.
I don’t do that anymore.
I just copy other people.
Try to forget what was before.”

A newly discovered duet written by Lillie West of Lala Lala and Yoni Wolf of WHY?, from 2019. The start of the song has a Death Cab/Postal Service feel to the notes, Lillie’s voice is indie-pop sweet and lilting, and the song itself, is catchy and dreamy and delicious. The melodies between Lillie and Yoni’s voice are infectious. I can’t stop playing “Siren 042”.

Lillie of Lala Lala and Yoni of WHY? have been close friends for a long time, something that exudes from them in the song and music video (seen above).

Fader describes the song as: Gauzy and bright, “Siren 042” finds West apologizing to someone and expecting punishment. “I’m sorry I was evil,” she sings, “I’m in trouble from before.” It sounds a lot like self-deprecation, as well as an open door to let someone else in — maybe for comfort, maybe for help. The way the two frantically run alongside each other in the video, it’s hard not to think that person could be Wolf.

Lillie says of Yoni:

“Yoni once talked me down when we were on the the strongest LSD of my life and I claimed to be ‘drowning in a river of sadness,'” West wrote via email. “I text him when I’m sick. Is he my life coach? Seems that way. I am a WHY? super fan and making this song was a dream come true. I hope to trick him into letting me into his home and more collaboration soon.” from Fader.

Yoni says of Lillie:

“From the golden, olden days when Lillie used to sneak backstage at WHY? shows to drink up the whole rider and taint the water supply while the band was on stage, I never would have guessed I would end up such close friends with the Lala Lala songwriter. But fate has a strange way of contorting space, time, and our better judgements. I’d say we started to get close when we sat down for my podcast and talked it all out. I feel confused. I just adore her.” from Fader

For more of Lillie and Lala Lala, drift on over HERE. For more of Yoni and WHY?, fly right over HERE.

Yoni and Lillie

Song 2: “Freakin’ Out On the Interstate” by Briston Maroney

Briston Maroney

“Freakin’ Out On the Interstate” by Briston Maroney – from the album, Carnival (2018)

“And you got a lot on your mind.
And your heart,
it looks just like mine.
There’s no use in wasting your time,

I am starting a new series of road trip playlists and this song is definitely going on one of them. I picture the story in this song being about a young guy whose been in a long-distance relationship, and during the couple’s last visit they got in a fight (something that often happens at the end of a long-distance couple visit). He is driving around now, replaying that last day, blaming himself, blaming the distance, blaming love. And then, in the end, he winds up driving to his long-distance love.

I’ve seen other interpretations, some of a couple in a fight in a car with the lead in the song trying to explain himself. I can see that, too, but the story/scenario above is where my mind goes to when I listen.

The music video (see above), by Joey Brodnax, plays out one part young guy movie montage and one part art school film project. It captures Briston’s youth and feels a lot like a snapshot of life as a teenager in the midwest.

Briston is actually from the south, Knoxville, Tennessee, to be precise. He was a contestant on American Idol back in 2013, making it to the top 30. He has released two EPs through Canvasback Music and Atlantic Records, as well as a full album, in 2021. (from Wikipedia)

To hear more music by Briston Maroney, drive down the road and take the off-ramp HERE.

Song 3: “Anthony Kiedis” by Remi Wolf

Remi Wolf – photo by Ben Kaye

“Anthony Kiedis” by Remi Wolf – from the album, Juno (2022)

“Everything’s shut down, yeah,
and I don’t have friends anymore.
Everything’s so cloudy, yeah,
and I don’t have feelings.”

Remi is one of my favorite music discoveries of 2022. Her album, Juno, is one of my favorite albums of the year, as well. I discovered her first via my daughter and one of her playlists. It was the song “Liz” – so catchy and hooky I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks. Then I saw Remi as one of the openers for Liz Phair’s show at Disney Hall celebrating the 90’s. She did a cover of Beck’s “Loser” and honestly stole the entire show. After that, I was obsessed.

I taught said playlist daughter how to drive this year, and during our first lessons in the early morning, empty mall parking lot, Remi’s album Juno was our soundtrack. “Anthony Kiedis” was one of our shared favorite tracks. A funny coincidence came to mind as I wrote this today. Back when said playlist daughter was a baby we took a flight to Los Angeles (we were living in Michigan at the time) to visit family. At the LAX airport, waiting in line to go through check-in for our flight back, three members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers stood waiting in front of us – including Anthony Kiedis. They all three kept ooohing and cooing and playing peek-a-boo with my baby daughter. As she grew up I’ve often teased her that she was once the Red Hot Chili Peppers favorite baby.

Go HERE and don’t hesitate to hear more of Remi Wolf.

Song 4: “Paper Thin” by Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas – photo by Jean Paul Pietrus

“Paper Thin” by Lianne La Havas – from the album, Lianne La Havas (2020)

“Love yourself,
or else you can’t love no one else.
I know your pain is real.
But you won’t let it heal.”

“Weird Fishes” was the first track I heard, and fell for, off of Lianne La Havas’ self-titled album. Today, though, it is “Paper Thin” I can’t stop playing over and over again. Sensual, bluesy, middle of the night feeling, this is a song to make out to, and make it to. Turn out the lights, maybe spark a candle, lie back and let this song flow around you and over you. Let your mind drift. It feels like heated up, slow loving at 3am, doesn’t it?

Lyrically, though, the song seems more about isolation, loneliness, pain and self-loathing. The want for love. The need for it, but needing to love oneself – and heal oneself – first. Its miles from where my thoughts go when I’m listening. But that’s part of what I love about this song. The differences, the way you can feel it, the complexities of what’s there.

Lianne is a British singer-songwriter and record producer. She filmed the music video (see above) to “Paper Thin” while in lockdown during 2020.

To listen and feel more of Lianne La Havas join me over HERE.

Lianne La Havas

Song 5: “Esta Vez” by Mabe Fratti

Mabe Fratti

“Esta Vez” by Mabe Fratti – from the album, Se Vey Desde Aqui (2022)

Mabe Fratti is an experimental cellist and composer originally from Guatemala. She now resides in Mexico City where she uses cello, voice, and synths to present sound in the form of installation, composition and free improvisation. (from Cube Cinema)

I discovered the song “Esta Vez” from a playlist on Spotify and was mesmerized by it. Its gorgeous and complex, so much layered sounds and instruments. There is something orchestral about it, while also stripped down and raw. I want to hear so much more.

If you want to join me, and hear more from Mabe Fratti, follow along with me HERE.

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