As Lazy Day, Londoner Tilly Scantlebury spins reflective vignettes without a hint of histrionics; instead, they brim with a world weary grace. Her composed lyrics read very much like a collection of poems written over the course of a lifetime, detailing the fragile moments of any union. Moments of love, loss, yearning, and even joy. The moody 'With My Mind' ebbs and flows from "Saying bye is always hard, I've hated it from the start" to "Making up is always hard, I never know where to start" over gloomy guitars. On the jangly rocker 'Oldest Friend', Tilly wonders "I hope that you've been missing me. Can you think straight? Can you get to sleep?" And 'TV' devastates with a pained yearning as Tilly demurely utters "I know that we'll be fine, I think about you all the time, I'm just scared that you'll change your mind." Her heart is naked and exposed; and it's Tilly's most haunting vocal moment. However, it's the chorus of 'TV' that accurately sums up our own flawed relationships, the impactful "I'll say way too much, not enough" resonates the longest, and loudest.
After making her name with the indie-rock band Hella Better Dancer, Tilly released a handful of bedroom-recorded releases as Lazy Day. Now with a full band, Tilly and band took to the studio to record their latest track, the upcoming Record Store Day split single, 'Portrait'. The studio polish didn't lessen the emotional heft though, she weaves a tale of an already done couple by calmly proclaiming "I find it hard to build you up, and promise that I'll stay". But, it's not all about the lyrical content, from the opening heart-piercing riff to the irresistibly melodic drum work, the band's first effort is a wholly rich artistic performance. And that's something to get excited about.
For the Record Store Day 2015 release, Lazy Day teamed up with Scottish act Tuff Love on the split single, 'Portrait' on one side, Tuff Love's 'Groucho' on the other. The release will be supported by Lost Map Records, and will also be available on Lost Map's webstore. I spoke to Tilly a few weeks back about the band, the single, being in a gang, Glastonbury, and who she's listening to right now. Here's what she had to say.
(Aimless Skylarking) So who is Lazy Day?
(Tilly) Lazy Day started as my solo bedroom project, but I got tired of the loneliness of Garageband and wanted to play with real life people. I found them! The band (the Lazy Angels) are: Beni who plays drums, Jonny who plays bass, and Harry who plays guitar.
(AS) I call Lazy Day late night lonely music. How would you classify Lazy Day's sound?
(Tilly) I suppose lonely music is what the first songs were, in the way I made them as well as what they’re about. ‘Portrait’ is the first Lazy Day song to come out since I’ve got the band together, and so it doesn’t feel as lonely to me as those older songs. I’d probably call Lazy Day’s sound dreamy-grunge, because I think the songs have hard and soft edges. I want to keep that original softness that comes from writing in your bedroom, but also go for the bits that can only get loud with a full band.
(AS) How does a Lazy Day song come about?
(Tilly) After getting the idea of what the song will be about I play around with melody and chords on the guitar and sing first draft lyrics that sometimes stick but usually don’t. (Lyrics are finished if I wouldn’t be embarrassed to say them without music.) I demo every part as I go - as voice memos or Photobooth films to make sure I don’t forget any of the changing ideas. These demos are really embarrassing and I hope no one ever finds them. After sifting through all the ideas I sit down with the guitar and sing the song over until it works as a whole. I’ll then build it up as a recording and if it ends up being a song that I’d wanna play live, I’ll send it to the Angels and cross my fingers that they like it!
(AS) With everyone being so busy, how does the band collaborate when an idea comes to mind?
(Tilly) I’m a Garageband gal, so I send demos for everyone to get the groove of the song and learn each of the parts. Then in practice we build on it together, always thinking about how its going to work as a live show. This part has become one of the best bits of being in Lazy Day cause you need a gang to make it all come together. And having a gang means you’re part of a gang! Even though we’re busy we all talk most days. We have a strong iMessage loop with lots of emojis flying about.
(AS) Being longlisted for Glastonbury is a huge honor. What was your initial reaction to hearing the news?
(Tilly) I entered the competition without telling any of the others because I didn’t want to get their hopes up. Father Christmas, Tooth Fairy, Glasto longlist. After so much time passed I accepted the dream was over and forgot about it, but then I found out and told the band straight away. They were like “whaaaa...?” and I was like “YEAH!” and had to reveal my sneaky ways. They were all as excited as I was, but no one was more excited than my grandma. And even though we didn’t make the shortlist, I’m still loving being on that longlist!
(AS) How did your collaboration with Lost Map and Tuff Love come about?
(Tilly) The stars aligned! Apart from that, I heard Tuff Love’s amazing song ‘Slammer’ and gave it a cheeky heart on Soundcloud and clicked attending for their EP launch. Then Julie and Suse (of Tuff Love fame) asked if we wanted to play that very same show. I was surprised and really happy. Johnny (of Lost Map fame) then told me about his plans for a split 7” single for Record Store Day and asked if Lazy Day and Tuff Love could be together in holy matrimony on vinyl. I said I do! It’s been so fun planning with those guys and I feel really lucky to be involved in it all. And I’m so excited to hold ‘Portrait’ in my hands!
(AS) Is there anything you’d like to share about ‘Portrait’?
I wrote Portrait at the end of the summer, after Lazy Day was a full band. We’d been practicing loads and I was realising how things could change now I was armed with the Angels. Then in December we recorded it thanks to Jonny - not only is he a fab bassist, but he also knows all about recording and producing. It was really cool to be able to record properly, like it had all come a long way since the Garageband days.
(AS) What bands have you been listening to recently?
(Tilly) I’ve been listening to a band called Alimony Hustle loads recently, they released a 3-track pay what you want on Bandcamp which is amazing. I haven’t been that psyched about a new band in ages! And I’m always listening to Melina Duterte from California - she makes songs with drums that sound like Kate Bush and guitars that sound like Broken Social Scene, and that’s one of the best combinations I can think of. And also Big Deal are my favourite band and favourite friends - their new album sounds crazy good, and I can’t wait for the world to hear it.