Maybe I was drawn to Lilith Ai’s Bloodlines by her soft, almost mournful guitar playing; maybe I was draw by the precise balance her voice strikes between pain and love; maybe I was drawn by lyrics like “Set myself on fire trying to keep her warm.” Whatever the musical and emotional weights Lilith Ai brings to bear in Bloodlines, I was touched, enchanted and by the end of the song almost crying.
Bloodlines is a not-yet- released song in the running in the NPR Tiny Desk contest that brings us images and sensitivities of the pain and tenderness of motherhood, from a woman not yet a mother. In what is really a love song, she sings to her mother “Did I break your body when I was born?” and promises that “…I’ll be a good girl”, offering years of joy to make for the hours of birth pain.
A blend of folk, ballad, and love song, it is perfect as it is, stripped down with only Lilith Ai’s exquisite guitar framing her deeply personal voice that sings of her to you. She brings us hard questions and tough realities in a voice that is nothing but compassion as she travels the bloodlines of family relationships, especially mother-daughter, finding and singing with a message to all parents and would be parents, there is pain and there is love.
Lilith Ai’s YouTube page shows mostly Sofar concerts with same intimate closeness. Some of her other singles have a little Riot Girrrl, and a lot of toughness. Each is a gem, but “Bloodlines” is extraordinary for its melodic, raw lyrics that move like incense smoke between the guitar notes.
Whatever initially drew me to “Bloodlines”, the lines that stopped me in my tracks was her speculation “Someday I’ll have a daughter of my own / I’ll feel love like I’ve never known.” I have a daughter and I know her words are prophetic. Brilliant, as they say in her native England. It could very well be her breakout song.
Although the song is unreleased you can see it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCVA5pPROJc. Let NPR Tiny Desk if you like it,
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