Chicago’s Lillie West has shared another new single ahead of her latest album as Lala Lala, I Want the Door to Open, coming Oct. 8 on Hardly Art. “Prove It” continues to suggest that West’s The Lamb (2018) follow-up will expand her lo-fi rock and indie pop sounds in compelling new ways.
The third single from I Want the Door to Open after “DIVER” and “Color of the Pool,” “Prove It” is “a song about insatiable people and the idea of ‘good’ vs ‘bad,’” says West. “It’s about lack of control. Even though this song is accusatory, I relate to the person I’m talking to. I think sometimes when we criticize other people we’re also talking about ourselves.”
West unravels these psychic threads over reedy guitars, attempting to separate reality from fantasy, her breathy vocals wound around steady, cyclical riffs. Synths, percussion and other auxiliary elements fade in subtly, the track fanning out in unexpected directions as it builds, its footprint somewhere on the border between dance-pop and shoegaze. At the center of it all is West, yearning for certainty and clarity: “I’m looking for the real, real thing.”
In addition to the new track, Hardly Art has shared Open the Door: Find Your Keys and Unlock Total Serenity—an informercial for Lala Lala’s forthcoming album created by Sarah Squirm and Will Duncan, and featuring testimonials from CHAI, Sasami Ashworth, Camilo Medina (Divino Niño), IAN SWEET and more—as well as an essay by acclaimed poet, essayist and critic Hanif Abdurraqib.
Lala Lala will play a string of record release shows in October ahead of a 2022 tour of the U.K., E.U. and North America.
Listen to “Prove It” and watch Open the Door: Find Your Keys and Unlock Total Serenity below, and see Lala Lala’s tour dates and Abdurraqib’s essay further down.
08 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *
13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room ^
20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg !
27 – Amsterdam, NE @ Paradiso Noord
28 – Groningen, NE @ Vera
29 – Brugge, BE @ Cactus at Villa Bota
30 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique (Rotonde)
01 – Köln, DE @ Baumann & SOHN
02 – Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain
03 – Hamburg, DE @ Molotow
05 – Göteborg, SE @ Oceanen
06 – Oslo, NO @ Internasjonalen
07 – Stockholm, SE @ Hus 7
08 – Malmö, SE @ Plan B
09 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega at Ideal Bar
11 – Prague, CZ @ Underdogs’
12 – Schorndorf, DE @ Club Manufaktur
13 – Freiburg, DE @ Swamp
14 – Yverdon-les-Bains, CH @ L’Amalgame
16 – Zürich, CH @ Rote Fabrik
17 – Annecy, FR @ Festival Hors-Pistes
18 – Metz, FR @ Aérogare
19 – Lille, FR @ l’Aéronef
20 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
21 – London, UK @ Moth Club
23 – Leeds, UK @ Hyde Park Book Club
24 – Glasgow, UK @ Nice N Sleazy
25 – Manchester, UK @ YES
26 – Bristol, UK @ Strange Brew
28 – Paris, FR @ La Boule Noire
12 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
14 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
15 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
16 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
18 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile (Second Stage)
19 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret
20 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
22 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club
25 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
26 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
27 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
28 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
30 – Austin, TX @ The Parish
31 – Fort Worth, TX @ Tulips
02 – Indianapolis, IN @ HI-FI
03 – Milwaukee, WI @ Colectivo Coffee
13 – Davenport, IA @ Raccoon Motel
14 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
15 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
16 – Urbana, IL @ Rose Bowl Tavern
17 – Nashville, TN @ High Watt
19 – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5
20 – Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall
22 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry
23 – Woodstock, NY @ Colony
24 @ Washington, DC @ Black Cat
27 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
28 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
29 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
30 – Hamtramck, MI @ Outer Limits Lounge
(* = w/ Unannounced Special Guest & Kara Jackson)
(^ = Cryogeyser & Fashion Club)
(! = Salt Cathedral & Crosslegged)
What I crave, what I have always craved, is a collection of songs that make me feel like they are surrounding me in preparation for a season. Not a good season or a bad season, but a season that I can identify as both. This, I’m sure, has to do with me being a product of the Midwest. Where, at least for now, there are still distinct and palpable shifts from month to month, almost as markers of time.
I think it is the amount of voices on I Want the Door to Open that make me feel comforted, encased, prepared for that moment I know so well where the warmth fades and the darkness comes a little earlier and then, abruptly, a lot earlier. And I don’t mean voices as in different people, I simply mean the multitudinous nature of the choir of sound that one voice can offer. Take, for example, the end of “Diver,” a song that swells and swells until it fades, leaving behind only the residue of voices that echo until the song’s exit, fading right into “Photo Photo,” where the same bursts of choir reappear as the song’s spine.
I’m saying I like an album that might make me feel less alone, the kind of alone that many of us became acquainted with in newer and sharper ways in the early darkness of the past year, and that some of us might be revisiting in the early darkness of the fall, and the winter, and beyond. I Want the Door to Open is an album that is immense, though not particularly loud. Its volume is in its tenderness, thoughtful arrangements, and elements of surprise, the things that leap out at you when you think you are hearing one song that becomes another song in its final act, a trick this album pulls off alarmingly well, every time. Take, for example, the pulsing heartbeat in “Color Of The Pool” that gives way, right at the last minute, to a fluorescent blooming of horns. “It’s a magic trick, in a way. Making these songs that are not often long in minutes in seconds feel like mini-suites. Like rooms you don’t want to leave.
Speaking of a room I don’t want to leave, I firmly believe that I have maybe given up and given in for good. The inside is where I wanna be whenever the fragile ecosystem we’re all tumbling forward in starts to go south again. And if that is going to be the case, then I require albums that are generous enough to make the inside feel like the outside. An album that feels like a gathering, like a warmth creeping in through a window, no matter the weather. An album that feels like a park, bursting with friends and strangers, shouts and laments. I think this is the one for all of my internal and external joys, sadnesses, anxieties, and the small survivals that open up the door to all of the larger survivals to come.