To immerse oneself in the music of Lily Virginia is to sink luxuriously into an aural hot bath, and then to be quickly dried off and taken on a breathless road trip. Her soft, supple vocals and symbiotic musical accompaniment slide expertly over, under, around and through each other. There are many moods here, from dreamy nostalgia to quick, astute assessment. Soulful vulnerability, proud self-assuredness, sharp and cynical street smarts, wistful nostalgia — all human emotions are on display here in this wide-reaching collection of songs and stories.
Brooklyn-based Lily Virginia’s Play Me Twice audiovisual album is an ambitious effort. It comprises nine songs, a series of in-studio music videos and an interactive Play Me Twice Podcast hosted by Lily Virginia and her producer, Alessio Romano. In each episode, they discuss the creative process behind a particular song on the album in addition to discussions with peers about what it’s like to be an indie musician in the current music biz environment. They also invite listeners to comment on what they hear. The podcast serves as “digital liner notes” that are ideal for our super-connected times. Fans are encouraged to ask questions via social media or texting as each song’s video is released, forging a strong connection between artist and audience.
Lily Virginia’s musical heroes are diverse, from St. Vincent and Bon Iver to Little Dragon, James Blake and Celia Cruz. Genres are seamlessly blended, including rock, folk, pop and world music touches. She and her band have performed around the U.S., including New York venues like Rockwood Music Hall, BAM and Highline Ballroom, and at special music events like SXSW, NOLA and Sofar Sounds.
Virginia’s inspiration for this album was to explore how vulnerable and intimate she could get. It’s clearly a personal album, confessional and poetic. It was inspired, as she says, by “wanting to write bluish purple songs with silver-gold shimmers.” Her live band, who can be seen in the in-studio videos, features Berklee alumni Alessio Romano (drummer and producer), Andre Vasconcelos (guitar) and Scott Kapelman (bass).