Lilys started out as a MBV-style shoegaze band, and their first two albums were appropriately dreamy and hazy. But in between those two records, they put out the aforementioned "Brief History Of Amazing Letdowns" EP (@ #42), which sounded more like Big Star-worshipping Teenage Fanclub than MBV. And that's the direction they took with this one. Actually, they went so far in that direction that they bypassed Big Star entirely and ended up sounding and looking) like Big Star's influences: Beatles, Kinks, Monkees, Byrds. It was a pumped-up and fuzzed-out version of 60s Brit-pop, but just as fun and catchy as the best of that era.
Since the original release, Kurt Heasley (the man behind Lilys) has gone back and added strings and horns and all kinds of other sounds onto the original recordings. So, most of the links up there are to re-touched versions. But, I really don't like those changes. Even if the songs on the newer release are closer to the band's original conception (they reportedly ran out of money while making the record and couldn't afford to do all the strings and whatnot that they wanted to do), the original 1996 release is the one you want.
Loveless is amazing. My Bloody Valentine was introduced to me by James Mercer (yes, that one) and this album always reminds me of him. I bought their earlier disc (Isn’t Anything) and while it’s good, it doesn’t quite have the hypnotic quality of the latter work.
i’ve never heard Isn’t Anything. i have “Feed Me with Your Kiss”, which i probably haven’t listened to since the week i bought it.
introduced to me by James Mercer
how do you know him?
Same hometown. We went to college together, even shared an apartment for a few months. I considered him a close friend at the time. But we drifted pretty well apart after 1997 or so, and haven’t talked since 2004. Which is my loss; he’s a very sincere guy and a really engaging conversationalist.
One thing special to me about the Shins is how quickly they went from “I’m listening to this band because my friends are in it” to “I’m listening to this because I love it on its own merits.” Very quality output, even with my obvious bias.
he does seem like he’d be an interesting guy. obviously well-read.
yeah. love the Shins – or, at least a big chunk of what they’ve (he’s) done. if you speak to him again, tell him “more Chutes!”