For those that have never been introduced to Lila Rose before, Lila is more than a musician. Born in Toronto and based in California, Lila Rose is a singer as well as a songwriter lead by her passion for music and her sensitivity towards our natural environment and its creatures.
We.Animals is a thematic collection of 11 tracks that accumulate to a single unit which could be described as a challenging, experiential and inspirational piece of music that reflects Lila’s environmental concerns and frustration towards humans’ indifference for our endangered planet and with it, a voice of hope. From my point of view it manages to tell its story exquisitely.
Lila’s music cannot be constrained to a specific genre. Drawing upon alt-pop and electronic vibes with a rock attitude, her music is a work of art that builds its own genre and style in a skilful and magical way. We.Animals is no exception.
The first track of the album, “Stars” is an intro itself with rich instrumentation, melodic guitar riffs and arpeggios at a laid back tempo that seamlessly contribute to a memorable opening of the second track. “Tracking” introduces a rock vibe that becomes utterly compelling by Lila’s distinct voice that seems to channel an unsettled anger. This feeling fades out amazingly as “Confessions” kick in, probably my favourite track of the album. The song as well as its video (see below) call the listener to confess the “destruction we have created” and the consequences this destruction will inevitably have upon ourselves. The message is perfectly surrounded by a solid drum beat, melodious synths and Lila’s stunning, crystal clear voice.
In the following track the beat becomes more edgy with a more aggressive tone and some distortion; ideally matched to “This Could Be Ha”, with “Ha” standing for harder, a song that impels the listener with its evoked inconvenience. Next up, “Nothing to lose” draws upon the same vibes of discomfort but with a distorted, up-beat, synthy melody that develops gradually and follows the varied pitch of Lila’s voice accurately all along. The heavy synths keep their place in the following more down-tempo “World on Fire” and create a beautifully dark atmosphere, pioneered by her voice that escalates to something powerful as well as broken.
“Now” comes with a peaceful intro that soon turns into furious drumming accompanied by a fuzzy bass line and swirling synths that transmit an agony as well as an urgency in every beat. “Servant” rolls out with a highly electronic and combative style. Lila’s vocals are distorted yet melodically driven to serve the needs of the composition that despite its monotonous rhythm, manages skilfully to create a passage to the piano-instrumental and much more acoustic “Easy Love”, that builds a beginning to an unexpected end.
Followed by “Misunderstood”, with solid drumming and straightforward voice accompanied by a low pitched piano and ultimately by the album-titled “We.Animals”, lo-fi and characterised by its stealthy vocals, violin loops and a total harmonic distortion, the album concludes to a unique listening experience that leaves you with a sense of guilt as well as determination for challenging the status quo.
We.Animals will be released on April 20th, almost 3 years after her full debut album, 'Heart Machine' which also, not surprisingly, received some really applauding reviews worldwide. The upcoming album is less electronic than her previous work, however it is an exceptional reflection of Lila’s talent. We.Animals is an album with a purpose, an emotional journey with many fluctuations that is certainly memorable and thought provoking.
Review by Eirini Gialou