“I wrote [this album] as an act of self-love, tenderness, and as a way to process the anger and frustration that stems from living through a pandemic.”
These words are from the band Long Neck’s lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Lily Mastrodimos. Referring to the band’s third album, Soft Animal, Lily takes influence from her own experiences and from Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese.”
“You do not have to be good / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert repenting / You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
In particular, the song “Gardener” talks about personal experience and struggles. Lily’s writing is far from hollow and is filled with real emotions and relatable memories. While “Gardener” speaks about a feeling of loneliness, Lily isn’t alone in her song-crafting.
Backed by RN Taylor of Los Campesinos!, their duet is hauntingly good and supported by Marlene Bellissimo, who is an artist of her own when it comes to playing the violin. All of those elements are soft-sounding, but the impact of their joined effort is powerful. A song’s true strength comes from its impact on the listener, and “Gardener” has enough of a punch to stand on its own as the album’s first single.
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