When I've had a few drinks, which is like all the time, Satanic Ritual Abuse's 'I Woke Up In These Clothes' is my go to song. Mostly because it makes me laugh, but I've also been there. Satanic Ritual Abuse is Josh of Memorials of Distinction Records, and formerly of Aimless Skylarking favorite band Hella Better Dancer. His Twitter feed is also incredibly amusing, sometimes with cute dog pics like the one above. Enough of my blabbing, stream 'I Woke Up In These Clothes' below. Do you want to be a scumbag with me?
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.
London quartet Lazy Day have revealed a new track, 'Portrait', and announced it would be part of a Record Store Day split single with Scottish act Tuff Love on Lost Map Records. The new track has appeared on the band's setlists, but up until now, a proper full band recording of the track was not available.
Lazy Day started as a solo side project for the former Hella Better Dancer frontwoman Tilly Scantlebury, and became her primary focus in the wake of the band's dissolution late last year. Now a full band with guitarist Harry Bainbridge, bassist Jonathan Coddington, and drummer Beni Evans joining Tilly, they've been gigging around London, honing their live act since the end of 2014. The band was just recently longlisted for Glastonbury's Emerging Talent Competition, and hope that, along with this new single will be a springboard for their 2015.
I've had enough time to let 'Portrait' sink in, and believe Tilly's strongest songwriting quality is her firm grasp on mature melancholy. There's a powerful economy in her words, displaying an unrivaled clarity when dealing with affairs of hearts. Yet, that mastery is not for comfort, or to find answers, but reflection.
On 'Portrait', the band takes on the weighty last gasps of a failed relationship in the final verse: "It's an ugly portrait/staring at me/you helped me make it/and hang it up for them to see." Finality is the scariest change, but even then, there's beauty in the end of all things. When we crawl from underneath the unbearable weight of all that emotional wreckage, we can finally breath. Gone is the devastation and denial, the anger and defiance, replaced with mourning and the acceptance that it's over. By then, we've composed ourselves, but we're horrified at all the masks we've worn, and the mess we've made as it all fell apart. We claim we've changed, we've put on a new mask, and we're not like that any more. But we're still just the same broken person, and that's fine, love isn't a paint by numbers portrait, it's an ugly mess for everyone to see.
With a brush in Tilly's hand, I can't wait to see what's on the canvas next. I'm a fan, and I think it's high time we get the United States branch of the Lazy Day fan club started. Join me in streaming the brilliant 'Portrait' below, it's my Song of the Day!
When one of the Aimless Skylarking Top Prospects for 2015 makes new music, we take notice. But what do we do when they aren't making music with the project we tabbed for greater things? Nothing at all, we're just giddy for any new music this good. But, we do wonder how many bands Our Girl's Soph Nathan can be in all at once? Recently, one band, Hella Better Dancer folded, and we've seen her name attached to Breathe Panel, as well as her own band, Our Girl, which we love and named as a Top Prospect for 2015. If the above picture isn't a ruse and the names on Facebook are all correct, it would appear that she's making an appearance in a new band, The Moon.
The London based quartet have released their debut single, 'Eureka Moment', and it is all sorts of fantastic. In the band's first effort, they've crafted an irresistible fun blast of guitar driven rock and roll filled with marching beats, howls, and buoyant "ahhh ahhh ahhh's". Sadly at this time, we've not been able to discover much more about the band, but we do know we love this first slice. Yes, we're "ready ready ready" for more. Are you?
The Moon are Juliette, Soph, Celia, and Fern. Stream the fantastic 'Eureka Moment' below, it's our Song of the Day!
Once again, thank you for visiting Aimless Skylarking, stick around for a long look if you like, and I hope you find something magical here. The aim here is to discover and share great music, and if you like what I have to say and share, bookmark us, like us, or follow us, and return. I like return visitors. And if you leave having found something you like, I'd love to hear from you.
Bands, artists, fans, record labels, and publicists, thank you for your submissions. Please keep them coming, Aimless Skylarking couldn't survive without new material. I've enjoyed my first year doing this, I discovered and shared so much great music, photographed many bands, and met some really nice people. I hope that 2015 is bigger and better for the website, so much so, I'm planning a little makeover at the end of the year. Perhaps a new platform to give it a modern feel, but the scope won't change. Ok, enough of all this sugary sentiment, let's get to the music, here's my 5 favorite songs of the year.
5. Hella Better Dancer - 'Like A Child' - The band's final riveting effort is a coiled-up snake of a song brimming with cool and confident swagger. Sinister and dark, and hinted at future successes.
4. Cleo Tucker - 'Never Loved Anyway' - Girlpool gets all the press for their latest work, rightfully so, it's quite good, but Girlpool co-lead Cleo Tucker's 'Never Loved Anyway' rivals anything the band has done. It's a foot stomping punky banger, replaying it is a foregone conclusion.
3. Sturgill Simpson - 'Turtles All the Way Down' - Kentuckian Sturgill Simpson wrapped a tale of Gods, aliens, hallucinogens, and fairy tales of blood and wine in a vintage country music shell, and then made it all about love. It was the one thing that saved his life, he and I are on the same wavelength.
2. BIRD - 'I Wanna Be Adored' - The disbanded Liverpudlian band takes on a venerable classic as their swan song, and go down guns ablaze. I'd never consider including a cover song here without it exceeding the original, or taking on a life of its own. BIRD does just that with the Stone Roses' track. The final dark and angry offering of the band's short career seems as if it was written for frontwoman Adele to sing. A perfect full stop for My Fear and Me, and the "Once upon a time" for their new beginning.
1. Lazy Day - 'Oldest Friend' - A lush slice of bedroom pop, repeated listens reveal more magic at work here. Swept with warm tones and a refined emotional presence, 'Oldest Friend' is certainly a thrilling moment from this burgeoning band. The warmth in frontwoman Tilly's voice comes off as relaxed and confident, it sure feels like an old friend.
I often trust my head and heart in such matters, and let those hasty decisions stick. Passioned decisions made without thought are often true and honest, at least so in my case, and 'Oldest Friend' was just that. I found myself listening to it, and the band's devastatingly lovely track from 2013 'TV' most of all, and cannot wait to hear what's next.