Sharing their infectious tunes from Sydney, Australia, is the alternative electro-pop/rock group The Lillypillies with their debut full-length album, 'Run To The Future.'
The Sydney-based boys are always exploring new ways to find balance within their refreshing creations, showing us the struggles of the present day, the nostalgia of the past, and the hope we must keep for a brighter future. Showcasing this perfectly is The Lillypillies' debut 12-track album, 'Run To The Future.'
The experience opens with the intro track, "No One Like You," where a heavy acoustic-electric guitar riff sets the scene with a dark and ominous tone. As Manny's familiar vocals kick in, he takes the track by storm and leads us into an infectious hook alongside a blistering rhythm guitar. The beat drop delivers the essence of power-pop/rock through subtle synth use and this overall anthemic feel, amplified by the song's bittersweet theme of relying on someone else to make things better. This was a kickass way to start the record, giving us a solid groove and gripping concept right off the bat.
Traveling into the dreamy revered electric guitar in track number two, "Maybe Someday," The Lillypillies bring us deeper into their alternative/pop influence with some added electronic depth. We're then met with a thumping bassline and Manny's airy vocals that sing of keeping away from the darkness. As The Lillypillies take us to the hook, they come through with the vibrance of electro-pop through crisply autotuned vocals, ghostly vocal samples, quick synths, and exciting drum breaks. Interestingly, how bright and bold this song feels, but The Lillypillies' lyrics offer a deeply gloomy and painful theme.
Moving onto track number three, "When We Were Young," we're greeted with a grungy electric guitar melody and a heavy bass lick alongside neat percussion and Manny's layered vocals. Listening to his warm vocals, he sheds light on how as children, we often want to 'Run To The Future,' only to get here and want to turn back time. This song is incredibly dynamic; it begins with a saddened and emotional feel but quickly transitions into this exhilarating heavy-rock space through crunchy guitar riffs and the brightest synths, leading us to the outro without a dull moment.
Onto the fourth track, "We'll Be Together," we had the opportunity to feature this track as a single, and we appreciate how it offers a sense of balance to the rock-centered listening experience thus far. The Lillypillies take this song to highlight the importance of having faith that it's darkest before dawn. The relaxed, mid-tempo drums and colorful melodic synths perfectly showcase The Lillypillies' affinity with electro-pop, but with some added electric guitar for an extra burst of sonic pleasure. We admire how the band didn't necessarily write about a specific situation, letting the listener interpret the meaning of Manny's lyrics as they please.
Upping the groove and energy is the album's fifth track, "Don't Let Me Down," peeling open with a spirited electric guitar riff and Manny's raspy vocals that sing of feeling at home in someone's presence and wishing they'd come around more often. As The Lillypillies continue peeling back the layers of this tune, they hit us with the funkiest guitar riffs and tightly-wound drum breaks that bring us to the shimmering hook. We can't get enough of this song's radiance; it's another dynamic and invigorating track that truly showcases the depth of The Lillypillies' creative abilities.
Reach song number six, "Remedy (Album Version)," The Lillypillies open the tune on this Reggae-like note through offbeat electric guitar strums and a toe-tapping drum arrangement. Manny channels his optimistic side in this track and reminds us that there's plenty of time to get it right. Before we know it, a blistering rhythm guitar begins firing through our speakers to ramp up the energy and heat. The song's verses, pre-hooks, bridge, and hooks could be their own individual song (and genre), but The Lillypillies manage to make it incredibly cohesive and seamlessly flow until the very last beat.
Tip-tapping away is the intro drums in track number seven, "Don't Tell Me (Album Version)," which kicks off the album's second half with glimmering synths that float in the background alongside Manny's deep and velvety vocals. He then starts singing of feeling locked inside his four walls while letting someone know that he doesn't need their advice now that they're long gone. The highlight of the track has to be the complex and layered drums that continue to change the energy and vibe of this versatile tune, carrying us to the outro with sensations of relief, endurance, yet lingering confusion and strife.
Reaching the album's dreamy and electro-heavy eighth track, "Wake Me Up (In A Few Years Time)," this song kicks off with sci-fi-like synths that scream 80s synthpop. The Lillypillies quickly do what they do best and switch things up to serve a groovy yet introspective atmosphere through added electric guitar and mid-tempo, organic drums. As Manny sings of wanting to pause the chaos in his life, he reaches the anthemic and deftly-catchy hook that sees him promising to go wherever someone special leads him. This song offers equal amounts of 80s synthpop as it does 80s progressive rock, truly taking us back in time.
Moving on track number nine, "I'm Hypnotized," a bright and plucky electric guitar melody opens this song alongside warm mid-tempo drums, modern electro-pop synths, a dense bassline, and Manny's passionate vocals. While singing of feeling hypnotized by someone's presence, The Lillypillies back him up with this gleaming instrumental arrangement that quite literally sounds like the sensation of falling into a love-induced trance. There's so much to listen to in this track, and each element merges together seamlessly to create one hell of a listening experience.
Taking things down a notch is the tenth track, "Broken Angel," which kicks off with an emotional and soft introduction through Manny's breathy vocals, mid-tempo drums, and melodic electric guitars. As we reach the energy-filed pre-hook, The Lillypillies blast through our speakers with instrumentals that ooze anticipation and lead us into the deeply reflective hook. Manny sings a quite painful scenario in this piece, feeling out of control and not getting anywhere in life. As grim as it sounds, The Lillypillies pump up the energy through their groovy bass-heavy transitions with added vocal chops and synths to spice things up.
Landing on the eleventh track, "Maybe Someday (Piano Version)," we hear a more organic and cinematic rendition of the album's second song, giving us a more raw and unfiltered approach. This time around, The Lillypillies scrap the electric guitar and head to the piano while maintaining the same string-like synths and bright drum arrangements. This song's piano version offers a deeply emotional aspect that allows the listener to focus on Manny's relatable lyrics, singing of how nobody wants to be lonely, hoping there will soon be a day where we don't have to say goodbye.
Reaching the album's twelfth and outro track, "We'll Be Together (Acoustic Version)," The Lillypillies take us back to the beaming fourth track but with emphasis on the warm and tender acoustic guitar. Still keeping the same bright electric guitar melodies and harmonious vocal layering, The Lillypillies takes us over to the hook one last time, where those familiar colorful keys lift our spirits and send us off into a dreamy and inspirational listening experience. We admire how The Lillypillies closed this album with perhaps our favorite track, ending the experience on a more cinematic and ethereal note.
Do yourself a favor and take a thorough listen to The Lillypillies' intensely dynamic, cathartic, and relatable debut 12-track album, 'Run To The Future,' now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic, The Lillypillies. We're truly impressed with the dynamic arrangements and relatable themes within your debut album, 'Run To The Future.' When did you begin feeling inspired to create this project?
Towards the end of last year, we felt that we had a bunch of songs that were really strong. We felt that each song was strong enough to stand out on its own without any being just a filler track, so we began to get excited about the prospect of putting together a full album.
Would you say the album 'Run To The Future' represents a moment in time or any significant experience your band has gone through?
As the songs were being written, we realized that they seemed to have the common thread of "time ."Most of the songs are about the struggles of the present day, the nostalgia of the past, and how hopefully, in the future, things will get better. The world is going through a very difficult period, and Run To The Future represents, to a certain degree, escapism to better times ahead of us. Songs such as "Wake Me Up in a few years' time" are very representative of this concept.
Does your band have a mutual favorite song off of 'Run To The Future?' Which song did you enjoy creating and recording the most?
We seem to be gaining the most attention so far with our song "Maybe Someday," which has had the most hits on youtube and plays on Spotify. It's also a song that showcases our strength vocally as well as on guitars.
Why did you feel that "Maybe Someday" and "We'll Be Together" needed their own piano/acoustic versions on 'Run To The Future?' What made you want to add these renditions to the album?
Both songs have strong melodies, and we wanted to give them the chance to shine even without all the production of the original versions. A good song can stand out whether it has layers of production or whether it's stripped down to its bare essentials. The album is very upbeat, and we felt it would be nice to end it with something a bit more laid back as well as give our listeners a couple of bonus tracks.
What did you hope to make your audience experience and feel when listening to the entirety of 'Run To The Future?'
We feel we have created a dynamic album with meaningful lyrics and strong melodies that stick in your head. It's an album we are very proud of, with influences from the past but with a contemporary sound and upbeat feel. We hope that listeners will enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed recording it.