2% Milk (Release Me Records)
Everything about this debut album by L.A. indie-pop singer-songwriter Alex Lilly is spellbinding. The cover art, a black-and-white image of Lilly being kinda pawed by legs and feet in fishnets, grabs the attention from the off. It's both moody and mesmeric, sad and sweet.
But then we drop the needle on the vinyl (because, yes, a hard copy of this album was genuinely, refreshingly, sent to us, and not even a CD — a beautiful LP). Lilly has been touring with, among others, Lorde, and that makes complete sense. From the opening "Confucius Says," it's clear that Lilly has a Kate Bush–like gift for pouring out her heart — the deepest recesses of her mind — and melding what tumbles out into something not only beautiful but also accessible.
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Again like Bush, but also Tori Amos and Lorde, Lilly's music is arty and uncompromising, and very much hers. But the melodies, the songs, are so strong that something as personal as the title track, or the ode to lost love that is "Boomerang," appear to be for all of us.
That's the joy of 2% Milk — it feels like we're sharing something genuine with an artist who is surely only at the very beginning of her journey.