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Tenderness and longing ring true on this roughly hewn album of hand made valentines. The album starts with waking pieces, soft and crunchy, gradually moving towards smooth sleepy washed guitar dreamscapes.

1| i am to you | VIDEO
2| lights shone brighter. my delicate sun
is my sparklin' sun

3| leanna is a quiet meow
4| you are the sun, your eyes are the sun
5| aeriels quiet and death-defying
6| the sleepers
7| arms around sleep
8| the shipwreck

A Lily - Wake:Sleep

"It's an appropriately titled album for this one-man band (real name James Vella, also a member of Yndi Halda) -- Wake: Sleep does capture a combination of energy and lassitude as a phrase, and musically A Lily's debut album is an at times inspired blend of various strands of ambient and contemplative music, from Brian Eno's original experiments to the epic gentility of groups like M83 and quieter Rock Action-era Mogwai. The chimes, slow beats and reversed guitar on the opening "I Am to You" suggests the latter in particular, but Wake: Sleep's mixing and matching through many styles creates something in its own world. Thus the children's voices, chopped up and tweaked with glitch effects, on "Lights Shone Brighter, My Delicate Sun Is My Sparklin' Sun," calls to mind efforts by Biosphere and Boards of Canada while the music in general continues in the chilled vein of the opening track. Elsewhere there are hints of Eno's peerless work from Apollo with the awesome beauty of "The Sleepers" (mixed with gentle acoustic guitar) and the dark "isolationist" style of the mid-'90s on the drones of "Aeriels Quiet and Death-Defying." An intriguing touch lies in song-length -- the first seven songs collectively are the same length as the final one, a half-hour long bliss-out called "The Shipwreck" which is actually worth its entire length, thanks to the hypnotic elegance of the end result. Brief singing cameos add more to this promising work, and if A Lily is still clearly in debt to many sources, there's already much to build on for the future."

"In his solo project A Lily, James Vella creates willowy instrumental dreampop whose pitter-pattering beats, chiming melodies, softly murmuring voices, and fluttering guitars sound like they're emerging from behind a translucent scrim. Inspired by his girlfriend Leanna, Wake:Sleep is a valentine set to music created by the Canterbury resident and Yndi Halda guitarist using primarily computer and electric and acoustic guitars, but also accordion, piano, drums, glockenspiel, bass, and pretty much anything else within reach. A Lily's sound—somewhat akin to a Manual-Xela-Múm (sans vocals) hybrid—establishes itself in representative material like “Lights Shone Brighter. My Delicate Sun Is My Sparklin' Sun” where a babbling brook of fragmented children's voices and laughter sits alongside liquid guitar lines. One of the album's most distinctive aspects is its pairing of six ‘waking' songs and two ten- and finally thirty-four minute ambient epics, both of them improvisations recorded live using guitar and delay pedals (the two, by Vella's own admission, originally recorded for Leanna's private listening and sleep-inducement). As one might expect, the hypnotically hazy settings are constituted by long flowing lines that blur into one another and, yes, do convincingly realize in sonic form (“The Shipwreck” especially) the unconscious calm one associates with deep sleep."-TEXTURA

"This is the feeling of recognition.The subconscious mind is still actively conjuring up wild dreams, and this is precisely the audible feedback filtering through the cerebellum. The clicks and glitches and pulses and ambiance and voices are merely the activity of electronic signals being passed among the synapses via neurotransmitters. As a listener, the first six songs might remind you of a collaboration between World’s End Girlfriend and The Album Leaf, where the surreal meets the real in a car crash scenario.

“Shipwreck” eventually enters the picture and by this time the music has completely fused with the listener’s subconscious and Wake:Sleep is an extension of your own thoughts and feelings. As you’d might expect, it’s the feeling that often accompanies waking up in the presence of another, arm tingling from lack of circulation and breath heavy and somber. Maybe this is the essential ingredient for the album: someone to share it with. Because, let’s be honest, no matter what type of music you listen to, love is always a driving force in all of our lives." - Decoy Music, (abridged)

"Yndi Halda might be a name familiar to some, it is inevitable that a band that already have gybe as fans are destined for some wider recognition. It was through hearing a sublime Yndi Halda remix that I became aware of A Lily, and as it turns out A Lily is infact guitarist James Vella from the band. Wake:Sleep is the debut 8 track offering written entirely for James' girlfriend Leanne. Already you are thinking post rock lullabies, filled with love, emotion and tenderness and in a sense you are right but conceptually and stylistically hearing is believing. Armed with a laptop A Lily takes us on a dawn till dusk electronic meander down a beach while Boards of Canada hold hands with Sigur Ros as Escapades make a home movie. With bouncy chimes, subliminal whispers and joyous guitar picking 'I Am To You' are the first rays of light sneaking in through your curtain. As the understated vocals come through over glitching beeps you begin to hear shades of Tex La Homa. 'Lights Shone Brighter..." for all its glitchy experimentation retains a dreamy beauty that reels you into proceedings even more. Having set a mood the music glides along complete with subliminals and subtleties in almost euphoric fashion, 'Aerials Quiet and Death Defying' draws to a close with Autechre style noise and french whispers there comes a departure. 'The Sleepers' gives way to James's post rock sensibilites, but there is no raging crescendo here, after all its time for bed. And it really is 'Arms Around Sleep' and 'The Shipwreck' are simply an after show come down slumber party for Makoto and Eno. This is a beautiful little album, well crafted and enthralling. Written out of love, it might not pull on your heart strings but it will certainly stir some emotions. "-plasticashtray

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