presents: an interview with A Lily's James Vella.
The subject: his debut release wake:sleep.
What inspired you to write the songs on wake:sleep?
The entirety of wake:sleep was for my
girlfriend at the time, and was inspired by her.
I thought I should try and make something that's just
for her, and writing songs seems to be what I'm best
How did you go about recording them?
I record everything in my bedroom/studio, which is a
laptop, a hard-drive recorder, ambient mics and as many
instruments as I can find. For wake:sleep, I used guitar,
bass, piano, accordion, drums, glockenspiel, lapsteel,
and vocals, as well as a few programmed synths and recorded
Speak a bit about the last two "ambient" pieces.
The last two pieces were originally recorded just for
Leanna's private listening – for whenever she wanted
to sleep to something I'd written – but I ended
up liking them enough to include them on the release.
They were both played live, with improvised guitar through
a few delay pedals.
How does the writing process for A Lily differ from your
other band, Yndi Halda?
Yndi is a much more gradual process. With that band,
we tend to have a 'finished' version of a piece that
differs so drastically from the final arrangement we
end up recording, it might as well be a different song.
We work on songs so much even after we've decided to
stop doing so. With A Lily, though, I prefer to just
listen to my head for a while, until I can create something
in theory, and then I try to re-create it with real sounds.
So it's less about experimentation and more about translation.
Do you think your environment influences your music?
Definitely. I doubt A Lily or Yndi would sound anything
like they do if we hadn't all grown up in the halcyon
summers of south-east Kent and never had to hear police
sirens at night or dodge cars in our playgrounds.