The Black Lillies (from the album Stranger to Me available on Attack Monkey Productions)
The guitar jangle of “Ten Years” calms the voice in the collective minds of The Black Lillies as the band watch the doors to a decade close on love in the opening cut on their recent release, Stranger to Me. While the vocal charisma of The Black Lillies still forms around frontman Cruz Contreras, band members have changed. Stripping down from a six piece to a four-piece band, Cruz is joined by his song co-writer, Sam Quinn (The Everybodyfields) on bass as well as two other songwriters filling in the band ranks with Dustin Schaefer (Mickey & The Motorcars) on guitar and Bowman Townsend on drums.
Sonically, Stranger to Me differs from the songs of previous releases though the heart of The Black Lillies music stays beating with familiar stories of life and love, delivered with a confessional tone to the vocal as “Ice Mountain” opens a letter from the heart while “Weighting” lifts the heavy burden of a father’s words and a country ramble rushes along with the percolated rhythms of “Joy and Misery”. The music of Stranger to Me wraps the sound of the band in a slightly more Indie Rock texture, songs sticking to their Roots while pushing against borders by developing a depth to the arrangement. The Black Lillies stage the traveling tour story of “Third Place” with a cinematic melody line shepherded by electric guitar leads and unfurl cloud of chords slowly on the rhythmic roll of “Snakes and Telephones”, use acoustics and harmonies for the upheaval of “Earthquake”, and plug “Midnight Stranger” into a late-night noir edge. Stranger to Me hangs on to a up/down churning groove to warn “Don’t Be Afraid” as The Black Lillies ponder promises, commitments, decisions, and tomorrow in “Someday, Sometime”.
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