About This Event
Liily are four Los Angeles musicians- Dylan Nash, Sam De La Torre, Charlie Anastasis & Maxx Morando – who, up until now, were mostly known for their manic and cacophonous live shows. Those performances, alongside a couple of early singles packaged together into an EP entitled I Can Fool Anybody In This Town, drove the band to some surprising early successes: performing at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, touring across Europe and the United States, then finding themselves on the cover of Spotify and Apple Music’s major rock playlists. But then, as quickly as they appeared, they seemed to vanish. Almost two years later, and now all of 22 years old, the band return with their debut album TV or Not TV in October. It is a highly aggressive record, far more so than their early work. But here they jump from moment to moment and genre to genre, creating an experimental and original set of songs, all more strange and abrasive but also far more three dimensional than anything the band has done before. It still contains the unbridled energy of those early shows and singles but feels stripped of anything passive or unintentional.
Ultimately, the album is about what arises when you come from Los Angeles but want to illustrate a different vantage point than what the city seems to represent to the world at large. “There’s a real lack of stuff that feels engaging here but there’s a lot that feels engaging elsewhere and in different times,” says bassist Charlie Anastasis. “We got into the Birthday party, into Sonic Youth, into the Fall. Also really into Moss Icon and Unwound. We can’t escape LA so we wanted to make something that felt just as engaging but that came from here specifically.”
“We’re really just chasing a sound,” says singer Dylan Nash. “ I think the people who are going to like this record are going to understand the aesthetic and the ones that don’t are not going to like it. It’s very take it or leave it. But it was important for us to create this aesthetic of our own. We didn’t know what we wanted so we spent a long time developing it. That was us training our ears a bit. Diving into more art and learning. We got older, developed as human beings. We learned how to write together. You know somebody for so long but to learn to work with them is a completely different skill. That process really contributed to each of us just being able to let go, let loose, care less about the abstract and more about the big picture.”
The result is a twelve track record that really does feel singular and strange. It’s very aggressive without it feeling like just a punk band. It’s a bashing, freewheeling sound that’s then very buttoned up- maybe self serious at points so it feels like kind of art school but not done by art school kids. The idea being that it makes sense by listening to it. It makes sense without a definition. If anything, that sense of evoking a singular image, archetype, character or aesthetic without definition, without failing into explanation, is the baseline of TV or Not TV. It all seems to arise out of some primordial sense of chaos. Nash’s lyrics and performances often lead the way.
What happens next says a lot about their generation and their own evolution in the public eye. How do you navigate the short history of this band, their early mainstream successes with a sharp turn to something far more out there in the present? It’s an uneditable history that requires their audience to shift pretty dramatically along the way. It’s also a first album with an undeniable statement of intent. “I think thematically it’s very different,” says Dylan Nash. “I think the intensity of it is very different. I think we had the same intention though which is to completely obliterate people’s ear drums – that’s what it still has in common.”