Massachusetts shoegaze/post-hardcore band Lilac Queen release new EP (stream + Q&A)
Massachusetts shoegaze/post-hardcore band Lilac Queen formed in 2019 with members of Bystander and A Tiny Spider, and the following year they put out their debut EP If Only on No Sleep Records. Today, they've followed it with the surprise-released, two-song EP things are different now, featuring the songs "fences" and "piles." The new songs sound like a clear progression from the already-solid debut EP, with better production and a more seamless fusion of their influences. This isn't your average Title Fight/Hum-imitating emo/shoegaze; it's like an exact cross between early '90s shoegaze and early 2000s post-hardcore, and it sounds new and exciting today.
Taylor Ruckle from All Scene Eye also conducted a Q&A with singer Lily St Germain. Listen to the EP and read on for their chat...
When did you write these two songs and how did they come together?
I wrote the lyrics and basic chords for "Fences" about a year ago now, when I was visiting my mom who lives in Arizona. I didn’t have much to do out there and I was recovering from a really bad relationship. I brought the song to my bandmates pretty much as soon as I got back, and everyone really liked it and were able to write their parts to fit it really well.
Dug wrote most of "Piles" on his own as well. He also started writing it when the pandemic was first starting. He was really inspired by a song he wrote for his old band and turned the chords from that song into what Piles is now, added the lyrics to it, and introduced it to the whole band. It was one of our favorite songs to play right off the bat.
What made you want to release them as a standalone 7”?
We haven’t released new music in a year now, and we’ve grown a lot as a band since If Only was first released. These were collectively everyone’s two favorite songs, and they both really show how Lilac Queen has changed and how we’ve developed musically since we first became a band. It felt right to take these two songs and release them together so people have an idea of the direction we’re heading in next.
In the first year or so of Lilac Queen, how have you seen this project change from where it started?
When we first started, we were moving really fast and didn’t put too much thought into it. Dug and I wrote a lot of songs and ideas in just a few months, and we didn’t end up using a lot of them. The pandemic kind of slowed us down a lot, not really by choice, but it’s given us a lot of time to plan out where we want to go as a band and the direction we’re heading in. We still hold onto a lot of the same writing processes that we had for If Only, but the band as a whole has grown a lot and we’ve worked better to create what we think best captures the band musically.
What are you most looking forward to for the band this year?
I’m hoping it’s safe to play shows again. We only played four shows together before everything started closing down. If things aren’t safe enough later this year, that’s cool too! We’re also working on our first LP and we hope that it’s finished and released by the end of this year.
Who inspired you to start this band?
Dug was the one who started this band! He asked me to join a few days before we went to record “Ouch” which was our first song. When his last band Bystander announced they were breaking up, he wanted to start a shoegaze band to shift his focus onto. When I joined the band though, I was probably most inspired by Jetty Bones vocally, Touché Amoré stylistically, and Paramore as a whole.
What about these tracks are more mature than the debut EP?
We’ve definitely grown in terms of writing music since we first wrote “If Only.” It felt like with those songs, we were more focused on getting them out and released rather than taking the time to develop our sound as a band. In terms of myself, I’ve learned how to write lyrics that are more emotional and vocal melodies that push my boundaries a little bit. As a full band, I feel like we’ve discovered what we want to sound like and I think we’ve developed that sound really well.
What are your goals as a band?
We’ve been presented some pretty cool opportunities that have been goals since we first started already, like getting signed to No Sleep and getting a slot to play the Fest in Florida (hopefully) this fall. I think being able to do a full tour would be really cool, considering we’ve only played four shows together since we became a band. We used to have this running joke that we just wanted to make it to Delaware to feel like we’ve made it as a band. Maybe we’ll get there after the pandemic and reach even further.
28 Essential Songs from the Shoegaze / Heavy Crossover
Listen and/or subscribe to our playlist of all 28 songs (with MBV's "Feed Me With Your Kiss" replacing "You Made Me Realise" because the latter isn't on Spotify):