According to their Myspace page, the sole member of Lille is the pseudo-dragon from The NeverEnding Story. That is somehow fitting for the dreamy pop of Lille’s freshman endeavor Tall Shoulders. The five tracks on Lille’s EP are mix of whistling, ukulele, and dreamy vocals; poppy, but not cliche; “something borrowed,” but nothing trite.
In reality, Lille is not a giant pink-grey dragon. She is Grace Bellury, a pixie-ish teenager from Atlanta, Georgia who started her musical career plucking out tunes on a mandolin. She eventually switched instruments, choosing the ukulele as her main vessel of expression about two years ago. Lille claims that this switch was due partially to Beirut, and the rest to heartbreak. It’s odd that the ukulele– an instrument associated with upbeat beach-pop and overweight Hawaiians– is used to produce Lille’s melancholy tunes. But she makes it work, artfully layering her strumming and sad vocals with fast-paced beats, which make the entire experience bittersweet. It is not something that you could dance to, but not exactly something to cry to.
Lille’s influences are unsurprising. She claims to have been influenced lately by groups like Beach House and Best Coast, groups that both feature girl vocalists with similar dreamy tones. In addition, she cites the Beatles, Sufjan Stevens, and Harry Nilsson as significant influences, all of which are apparent in her melodic verses. Culturally, she names Tim Burton as a main influence, along with sadness in general.
There is very little information about Lille out in the media, which adds to the mystic allure of her pretty face and mournful lyrics. She recently signed onto Brooklyn’s Whale Heart Records, but has not released any tour dates, preferring for now to play small local shows.
Listen to BreakThru Radio all week long for tracks from Lille!
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– Calah Singleton