The LA artist takes ‘bedroom pop’ to its highest form with 'Kill My Mind,' out today.
Lily Lizotte was about 24 hours early for our interview, primary evidence of what I had yet to learn—that Lizotte was beyond ready to enter the next stage of her career as a singer, songwriter, and producer. When we did link up, we laughed through it, and she uttered what might be a credo for anyone under 30: “Yeah, I’m living somewhat in the future but also in, like, mayhem.”
Now performing as The Blossom, we discussed her name change, the sojourns of a creative nomad, and the art that inspired her new single “Kill My Mind.” The guitar-driven cut tells the tale of life in the wake of separation, and the visions of love that linger. Accompanied by a video, directed by Natalie Falt and Tara Touzie, the song asks a grounding question: When someone you love leaves, what do they leave behind?
Jordan Levy: There’s one overarching thing that we have to address first, which is that you’re performing under a new name, The Blossom. What led you to that?
Lily Lizotte: To be honest, I feel like this video and this music is really a debut. I hate that word but it feels like that. I’ve been working on a bunch of different projects and moving a bunch, I’m super nomadic. I was in New York and now I’m in LA, and before that, I was in Sydney, Australia. So I’ve been bouncing around everywhere and recording so much and doing different projects, but this feels like the first time I’m putting out something that feels serious to me. In high school and for the last couple of years, I went by Lila Gold. Even socially, people call me Lila, so people are still going to call me Lila. But I feel like musically, I’m someone different.
Jordan: At the dawn of this new era, is there any specific reason why ‘Kill My Mind’ is the first track out and about in the world?
Lily: Yeah, it’s kind of like to grow and birth something you have to go through a sense of destruction and kind of destroy everything. To figure shit out, I guess.
Jordan: In a way, it’s like this song is about using decor as a proxy for an ex, so I was wondering why you think people substitute objects—like a couch—as stand-ins for people that they care about?
Lily: There’s this piece by Tracey Emin where it’s just her bed, and I think it was in 1998 that she put it out. It’s one of my favorite pieces, and it really shook people up. She just had her possessions and all these things she was living amongst and living through. People had a problem seeing a woman’s bedroom like that.
I wanted to play on that because I love the idea of how things fall together or apart within ourselves, but also in our bedrooms—with our partners or friends or family or alone. For me, I felt like I was just living in my bedroom for years. I have social anxiety, but then I can be really outgoing. I’ll lock myself in my bedroom and live with myself, but then I’ll go out and give so much to people, and give too much away. Then I’ll take it all back to my bedroom in some way.
“There are a couple of tracks that are produced by my dad too, which we wrote together. It sounds very wholesome.”
Jordan: On to the video itself, what was it like choreographing this one. I know you worked with Dance Lawyer, so what was that like?
Lily: Jess is a really good friend of mine, and she works under the name Dance Lawyer. She’s a movement artist, New York-based. She’s also similar in the sense that we don’t think about our bodies as being over-sexualized. I told her ‘Whatever I’m doing with my body that feels interesting and unique and makes me feel something, to me that’s sexy.’ So I wasn’t afraid of trying different things and using my body in uncomfortable ways where it’s like, ‘Is this weird, do I look weird?’
She was kind of like a communicator for me, she was my voice. We just sat on my bedroom floor experimenting with a bunch of stuff and laughing. We didn’t have anything sequenced, just little movements, and we gave them names, like ‘puppy dog’ or ‘tongue poking out.’
Jordan: Would you say the choreography was the most challenging part of shooting the video?
Lily: It was more so that I really had to let go and trust my friends. I’m a big believer in collaborating, and in a sense, it was really liberating for me to let go and say ‘you guys, what are we going to do? You direct me, you communicate through me,’ and it worked.
Jordan: Speaking of collaboration, you just finished a studio residency with Future Classic. What was that experience like?
Lily: Yeah, that was one of the best experiences because I really get excited about connecting with somebody new in a musical sense. Sometimes it’s pulling teeth and it’s like blind dating, or feels forced so it’s horrible. Then, sometimes the energy is really strong. So I would say the versatility of working with different people and collaborating helps you gather awareness by trying different things. I leave my ego at the door when I record and write with people; it’s like ‘you know what, we’re here for a purpose, to get write a song or get an idea.’
“For me, I felt like I was just living in my bedroom for years. I have social anxiety, but then I can be really outgoing. I’ll lock myself in my bedroom and live with myself, but then I’ll go out and give so much to people, and give too much away.”
Jordan: A general theme here is openness. Where does that willingness to be open come from?
Lily: I think it comes from feeling quite dissociated and know that the way that I can connect with people is by being open and receiving. I grew up often feeling a disconnect with my gender or other people my age. I always felt strange and weird and uncomfortable. I’ve learned that through expressing myself it attracts what I want and it fulfills me. If I keep on giving then I’ll receive something. I think it’s the greatest thing in the world; I’m not jaded yet.
Jordan: It’s good to not be jaded! It’s better to hold on to what got you here.
Lily: I know, I never want to feel closed off to anything, because I’ve had so many people close me off as well.
Jordan: ‘Kill My Mind’ is the first song off an upcoming EP, are you excited about that?
Lily: Yeah, I have five tracks on the EP. There’s this really cool artist Jessica Winter, she’s from the UK and with Warp Publishing. She and I wrote together and she produced this song with me. I’m really excited because it’s a special song for me and I loved writing with her so much. That’s something that came out of the Future Classic residency. Now she’s gone back to the UK and feels like a long lost pen pal; I’m dying to write with her again. There are a couple of tracks that are produced by my dad too, which we wrote together. It sounds very wholesome.
Jordan: Just in general, what are you looking forward to most in the coming months, as you get ready for this next step?
Lily: Honestly I’m just excited to put out music and share it with my friends. I’ve been keeping everything really insular and working on stuff in the shadows. This is really my first project, and I expect everything and nothing. I know it sounds a bit modest, but that’s the first thing that comes to my mind. It’s really the very beginning for me.