Artist: Rotten Lily
Release Date: 22 August 2013
Genre: Lo-Fi / Post-Rock
License: Blame: CC BY-NC-ND and Servo: CC BY-NC
Release Labels:: unpicked.net and Tekko Music Production
[Note: The Servo single was rolled into the release PewPewPew by Rotten Lily.]
This is one of the most surprising finds I’ve had in quite a while. Why? Because this is a group that defies categorization. Start with the first track, ‘odejahumnandaho odejaho’ – a meditative prayer like song with Native American harmonic structure. It starts with a slow acoustic guitar, and a single voice and builds in intensity and vocal lines, before receding back to a single vocal line with guitar.
The second track ‘done for today’ is completely different: mechanical drums and percussion with an arpeggio piano line, and walking bass. Then it erupts into a loud, noisy almost chaotic bridge before receding back to simple block chords on the piano. About the only relationship between these two tracks is that they are recorded with low-fidelity equipment, as is evident by the hiss from the recording medium.
Even that link isn’t constant throughout these recordings. This band plays as much with recording style as they do with song structure, harmonics and rhythms. They are artists on many levels, but extending that artistry to their recording styles would be irrelevant if this wasn’t a group that didn’t have the chops to come up with interesting, and I dare say rocking pieces to match their ambitious recording.
But, if what I read about this group on the Unpicked release page for Blame! is correct, it sounds like this is group of very strong musicians, with very different influences, styles and personalities. And that comes out in this music.
When I read Rotten Lily described in this way, I cannot help but think about “super groups” from the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Groups like Yes, where each musician was very talented, skilled and well known in their own right, merging into a group that tried to forge a new ground or direction by fusing their unique influences. However, unlike Yes, Rotten Lilly is a modern “post rock” merging of musicians. Their musical ideas are concise, and not the 10-20 minute long sprawling epics of groups like Yes.
But, even after saying all of this, the band has a very self-deprecating way of describing themselves as seen in this interview [Note: the unpicked.net website is no longer available]. (That interview is for their Jazz release, as you will see. I will review that later…)
It’s basically impossible to single out any tracks as being outstanding on this release: all of the tracks are outstanding. The same applies to the three tracks on the Servo… single. Each track is unique, and excellent listening. It’s really worth picking up both of these releases, and listening to them many, many times. If this is the future of music (and I really hope it is), then we are in good hands with Rotten Lilly.