Lillet Blanc is as honey sweet as its drink namesake.
Lillet Blanc is a french aperitif, which means you drink it before a meal to whet your appetite. It’s pronounced "lee-lay blAHnk," as I learned the hard way after ordering it recently at a Moroccan restaurant, and the waitress not-so-gently corrected me when I said it like “lilette.” The drink itself was thick, honey-sweet, and floral - very much worth the pronunciation embarrassment. Lillet Blanc as a band is the sonic version of this girly, lovely drink, reminiscent of other francophile bands like Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, and Au Revoir Simone.
This eponymous EP is short and sweet, with just three frothy little songs. "Foul Play" couches ambivalence -“I always say / Go away / When I don’t mean it”- and even menace - ”You’ll be the victim of foul play”- in a hazy, dreamy melody. "Drenched" contrasts Emily Rawlings' innocent, almost childlike voice with lines like “how I tremble as it / cores me” and “Does my body feel / as ready as it looks / to fight my body?” The last track, "Now and Yours," showcases Rawlings’ vocal range the best; my heart does a little flip when she flicks her voice up at the end of the chorus. The magic of Lillet Blanc comes from the friction between grown up lyrics and baby-soft melody. The words seem to follow the simple path of rhyme, but evolve over the course of the songs. In "Foul Play," “I’m such a victim of foul play” turns into “you’ll be the victim of foul play” by its culmination, while in "Now and Yours," “pretending is a constant threat” becomes “pretending is the common thread.” These small transformations take place within the perfumed bubble of the band’s super consistent dream pop sound. We don’t travel terribly far in this little EP, but like its namesake, it leaves you ready for more.
Listen to Lillet Blanc on bandcamp.
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Simone Wolff lives in NYC with their grandma, best friend, boyfriend, snake, spider, and two cats. They’re a Cancer sun, Gemini moon, and Capricorn rising.