Lillie West’s music is cinematic. The Chicago-based artist is the force behind Lala Lala, an indie pop project with eyes on the ethereal.
West recently embarked on a mega-tour back in October 2021. Unencumbered to explore her personal and artistic growth, the singer-songwriter opened up to District Fray about her tour, sound evolution and current muses.
West’s ongoing tour is a support to her third album “I Want The Door To Open,” released in 2021 by Hardly Art. On the album, the singer-songwriter experiments with synthy rhythms that serve as an anchor to her confident, raw vocals.
West’s recent step away from indie rock to a softer, new wave pop, matched her inclination to explore elements of sound from other genres.
“I was following my heart. Those are the sounds and textures that excited me while making the record and right now,” says West.
Her attraction to more delicate sounds is similarly evident in the soulful, ambient music she’s listened to lately, from Dijon’s 2021 album “Absolutely,” to Perfume Genius’ cover of “When I’m With Him.”
Throughout her journey as a musician, West’s authenticity has enabled her to realize an expression that parallels her growth not only as an artist, but as an individual. On the artist’s 2018 album, “The Lamb,” West was vulnerable with her audience as she shared her experience with sobriety.
Three years onward, “The Lamb” laid the foundation for West’s current journey of self discovery as portrayed on“I Want The Door To Open.” By way of surrealist allegory, the artist voices her search for alchemy.
In “DIVER” West assumes the role of Sisyphus, a figure from Greek mythology whose cleverness was a two-sided talent. As she’s “swimming out towards my new life,” West sings “it’s palpable to want it all.”
These nuggets of cinematic escapism elevate every track on “I Want The Door To Open,” a product of West’s desire for her audience to feel “like they’re in a movie,” she says.
Three albums under her belt, West’s current relationship with making music is as organic as what drew her to the industry in the first place. “Just loving listening to music and wanting to be a part of it” has largely influenced her decision to pursue music full time, she explains.
Lala Lala’s upcoming Washington show, previously scheduled for April 24, is now canceled due to a Covid infection. Regardless of the complications, West is relishing in everything that her tour has offered so far.
“There’s a million things we can’t control and I’m trying to extract and create the maximum amount of joy and love,” she says.