From shoegaze to dream pop to Kinks-inspired rock, indie pop group The Lilies have been an ever-evolving band in both sound and members since their formation in 1988.
The group is originally the artistic vehicle for Kurt Hesley, who founded the band in Washington, D.C. and has been the lone constant member in the lineup, which includes over 70 musicians throughout the band’s history.
And after not being able to perform because of the pandemic, Heasley, along with some seasoned musicians, is putting on a trio of local shows starting with Supply & Demand in Long Beach on January 21, Puppy and Harriet and Echo on January 22. January 23.
“It feels more important that coming back on the road. It has heightened the importance of playing these songs,” Heasley said of the band’s return to the stage in a recent telephone interview.
Like their lineup, the band’s sound changed from its shoegaze roots to a more pop/rock sound influenced by bands like Kink.
Ad campaigns helped some of Lily’s music reach a wider audience: 1994’s “Ginger” appeared in a Calvin Klein ad and 1998’s “A Nanny in Manhattan” appeared in a Levi’s commercial.
Here are three things to know about Lily before the local show.
In addition to Hesley, Lilly’s touring lineup will include guitarist James Richardson (MGMT), bassist Evan Weiss (Girls), percussionist Chris Cooley (School of Seven Bells), synth and guitarist Don Devore (Collapsing Scenery), and guitarist – Longtime Lilly collaborator – Alex Craig.
Lily has not released a new album since 2006’s “Everything Wrong Is Imaginary”, but the band has been touring in support of the recent re-issue of the 1994 six-song EP “A Brief History of Amazing Letdown”. . It was originally released in 1994 as a limited edition 10-inch vinyl.
“The original record was very important to us,” Hesley said. “It was just getting to be who we were without getting over it,” he said.
Hesley stated that the album was a transitional one for the band as it still had the energy and feel of “In the Presence of Nothing”‘s earlier shoegaze release, but was more of a pop influence.
“Every record that came after ‘A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns’ had that sweet sense of thread to it,” he said.
It was also a difficult record to find.
“And at the moment it was released in 1994, there were very few physical copies of the record, less than 5,000. And about 10 years ago we started selling those original copies for $300 and up,” he said.
The remastered version includes the song “Ginger” and the previously unreleased tune “Gee”. Cobalt Franklin” as well as four demo songs recorded in the same year.
deep cut dive
Hesley stated that the current shows are similar to a music documentary of the band as they cover the scope of the band’s history.
“We have never visited this cruelty,” he said.
“Over the years we have developed sets with the songs that everyone was waiting for. But this round we have added more songs, because of the demanding nature of performing them, we are in confidence with this one. Taking the fall,” Hesley said.
if you go
Long Beach: January 21, Supply and Demand, 2500 E. anaheim st sndlbc.com
Pioneertown: 7 p.m. 22 Puppy & Harriets, 53688 Pioneertown Rd. $22 in advance and $25 a day show. pappyandharriets.com
Los Angeles: January 7, 23, Echo, 1822 Sunset Blvd. $20. theecho.com