INTERVIEW: lylyly Talks (And Premieres) New Single “No Sleep”

With a new album due out just later this week, Lylyly have graced us with a teaser track for the song “No Sleep”, a pounding an upbeat rock full of attitude that calls back to some of the greats from the Riot Grrrl and femme rock movements. With an aggressive yet tuneful voice, frontwoman Emily Mineo leads the band in an assault on “No Sleep”, backed by crunching guitars, bouncing bass, and filled out drums. What makes this track so unique is the chemistry and intent, Lylyly is clearly a band worth their salt, their approach and feel is tight without being stiff and grooved without being too loose, an original and refreshing take on heavy power-pop. And with lines like “don’t tell me to smile” it’s clear they don’t play by anyone else’s whims or standards. Below is the stream of their new track “No Sleep” and an exclusive interview with the band:

Hi folks, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey there! This is Emily, from lylyly. I’ve been perfectly splendid.

We’ve missed playing together as a band these last few months because of quarantine restrictions. But I’ve kept busy by painting and designing the layout for our self-titled LP and for the single we’re releasing from it today, “No Sleep.” All of our band members have been active and participating in the protests and activism efforts that have sprung up in Philly (as around the country and the world) calling for an end to racism, fascism, and the police brutality that is a symptom of the former two.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “No Sleep”?

“No Sleep” is from our upcoming album, which releases this Friday. It’s a song for those feeling unseen or left behind by the people or systems they’ve trusted. It’s a song that revels in the feeling of restlessness that comes with being let down and left alone with one’s thoughts. It can be easier to lash out at the people who misunderstand you or won’t stay with you than to just stay with and be present for yourself. This song embodies the lashing out.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I think the 90’s grunge influence is pretty obvious. There wasn’t one event that inspired the song. It’s just about relying on the wrong people.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

We’re thrilled to share our lyric video with you today.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote the song on my acoustic guitar, but knew at once that it was meant for a full band. It inspired me to reach out to Josh Zenker, our bass player, and start to form the band. We recorded the main guitar, bass, and drums live and together. The vocals for “No Sleep” were the fastest vocal take of the record. I remember us all being so happily surprised when after about two takes, we had what you hear in the song. It’s a special song to play live together because Josh plays this great solo which is always different and so fun. And Jared Williams, who plays drums, gets more expressive and experimental with every performance. I find the energy they bring to “No Sleep” influences my vocal performance each time. It’s the most fun to play with such talented musicians, who are also some of the kindest people I know.

What role does Philly play in your music?

That’s kind of a funny question. I was born and raised here, so Philly is a part of me as much as any formative place is for anyone. But I don’t think it defines me or our music. It’s strange to me when people move here, as adults from out of town, and claim the “Philly badge” like it means something. I guess people want to be a part of this mean and wild mystique that Philly has within American culture right now. I think it’s narrow. I find some of it true. I find some of it within me. I don’t know how it fits into our music. That’s probably for someone with an outside perspective to say.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

That is precisely what it means. Our self-titled full length LP, lylyly, releases on vinyl and digitally this Friday, October 23rd.
You can pre-order both vinyl and digital copies now at this link: https://lylyly.bandcamp.com/album/lylyly

How does this new single fit into the rest of the record?

This single shows up as the second to last song on the album. “No Sleep” sounds like no other song on the record. The same can be said for every other song on “lylyly” as well. Bands tend to gravitate towards a genre and explore just that throughout their catalogue. The only advantage I see to playing one type of music is to fit into a narrow scene. It’s hard to categorize our sound for submissions to blogs and playlists because from song to song and show to show we’re different. I think that’s what makes us interesting and special as a band. “No Sleep” draws on 90’s grunge rock. But two songs before it in the track listing, you’ll hear “Lifeboats,” which has no guitars and features the incredible Sophie Coran playing a baby grand piano accompanied by a string quartet. Earlier in the record, you’ll find a totally live and acoustic track, “Wish.” And not long after, “Home,” which we’ve already released as a single, was made using synthesizers and various noise makers. Within the story of the album, “No Sleep” feels like a final throw down. It’s giving voice to the anger, so that eventually peace can be made.

What else is happening next in lylyly’s world?

We’re going to vote November 3rd. Voting isn’t the only action we will take. And elections don’t change everything, but they have their place in moving forward and affecting the landscape of our nation. I speak for myself, but I know my bandmates share a similar heart, when I say that I will be voting for hope that our country can move in a direction towards racial equity, affordable healthcare and housing for all, justice for those murdered by police, the abolition of prisons and moves towards transformative justice, access to affordable childcare, environmental protections for our beautiful planet, protections for trans and queer people and for the immigrants and refugees who join us in this land. And after we vote we will continue to support organizations in our Philadelphia community, such as Juntos, Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, Planned Parenthood, and more.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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