Exquisitely precise but consistently more postmodern by design than any of the neighboring elements in the master mix are, the starring piano melody in Lila Blue’s new single “Half of It” is brooding, reminiscent of early Adele and yet beholden to a certain alternative rock comparison that has never had much of a presence in contemporary piano-driven pop. Whether she was attempting to do as much or not, Ms. Blue successfully establishes herself as an emotive singer/songwriter with a penchant for stirring up evocative moments with much more than just her sublimely harmonious vocal alone, and right now, that’s about as much as indie pop fans can ask for in an emerging powerhouse act.
As I hear it, “Half of It” presents us with more of a glimpse into the future than it does a specific mission statement about who Lila Blue wants to be as a performer in the long term. There’s an experimental construction in play here, mostly built around the conceptual relationship between the vocal and the keys, and though she isn’t exploiting it as much as I would like her to, there’s no reason why she couldn’t do so in the future. She’s laying out a really fascinating blueprint for making angst-ridden piano pop/rock that doesn’t borrow too much from a classic model (specifically one that came out of a mid-70’s New York City) most of us have long grown tired of by now. Lila Blue has loads of raw potential that can be refined in the coming years, but in the single and music video for “Half of It,” she makes the most of what she’s got for now – much to the benefit of any and all who are listening.
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