Originally from the increasingly intriguing Falmouth music scene, Lily Hayes has recently relocated to Brighton, and is set to start sharing her music with the world, starting with her brand new single Soft On Me, which we’re sharing here today.
Lily has suggested her music is less a solo project and more a series of collaborations, having already worked with the likes of Tugboat Captain and Post Club Art Club. On Soft On Me though, Lily seems to be placed front and centre. Accompanied by just a gentle flutter of electric guitar, Lily’s lithe, perfectly enunciated vocals are utterly compelling. Like Leonard Cohen or Laura Malrling, Lily’s voice draws you in and demands you give her poetic words the attention they so rightfully command. There’s a winning sparsity to Lily’s lyrics, concluding in the repeated romanticism, “like I was made to love you, I was made to love you”.
There’s always something thrilling about an artist right at the start of their musical journey and Lily Hayes might just be one of the most exciting new voices we’ve heard all year. Listen to Soft on Me below, then read on to our interview with Lily where we talk, weather, collaborations and finding sincerity in making music.
FTR: For those who don’t know, who is Lily Hayes?
Ha! A work in progress.
FTR: We’re premiering your debut single, Soft On Me, today, what can you tell us about recording the song?
I recorded Soft on Me with two friends (Johnny Griffiths, Will Griffiths) one afternoon in their flat in Brighton. It was really easy, low maintenance. We recorded my parts first and then the boys wrote the bass and lap steel parts afterwards – I’m really open when it comes to the sound and other peoples ideas. I think I work best with an adaptable approach to recording.
FTR: What’s the inspiration behind the track?
I wrote it when I was staying up in the mountains in Wales, so it reminds me of that kind of wild land in contrast to soft lakes and rain. It’s about being vulnerable and soft with someone.
FTR: The track’s coming out through Uncollective Records, how did that come about?
I met Tom (from Uncollective) through friends in Falmouth, and played at Langaland last year. He’s a brilliant guy, always interested in new things – it’s really encouraging.
FTR: We understand you’re a frequent collaborator, what do you like about collaborations? Who would you like to collaborate with in an ideal world?
I like that different people are always going to bring something new to a track. There are so many interesting musicians and instrumentalists out there, and every person is going to hear something different – why go it alone when your pals can bring alternative / exciting ideas to the table?! Working with Joe and Stan on the postclubartclub albums (postclubartclub.bandcamp.com) was exciting in that way, writing music became more of a conversation. It would be my dream to collaborate with a museum or library, either through words or archived sounds.
FTR: We read you’ve recently relocated to Brighton, what drew you to the city? How does it differ from Falmouth as a place to make music?
I moved here for university a few years ago. To begin with it was a bit far from home, but now I can draw parallels between here and Falmouth: there are so many subcultures living on top of each other, there’s always something weird and great going on somewhere. Friends in bands like School Disco, Speedboat and Holiday Ghosts have come up here from Cornwall too, so it’s great to see people from home doing well!
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Feeling like myself – being vulnerable, moody, in love, – all of these things manifest themselves in writing music. I think music is a very human thing: it equates us, it’s sincere.
FTR: What can people expect from the Lily Hayes live show?
Big sleeves, weather based lyrics..
FTR: What’s next for Lily Hayes?
Gonna graduate, gonna write some songs, gonna play them.
Soft On Me is out now via Uncollective Records. Click HERE for more information on Lily Hayes.