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On Trial

Monterey-based electro-pop duo Lillie Lemon channels witch and werewolf trials for an upcoming concept album

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When I first heard Lillie Lemon, I couldn't have been more excited for this band to come to Bend. A hybrid lying somewhere between Chvrches and Purity Ring, Lillie Lemon specializes in lyrically-driven electro-pop with beautiful female vocals. The duo, which consists of Lillie Lemon and Erica Wobbles (who's also known as Eric), creates electronic music with an upbeat yet ethereal sound.

"Eric hopped on a project I was working on and introduced me to electronic music in a way I hadn't been introduced to it before," Lemon recalls. "I started realizing how fun it was to do live vocal looping and vocal effects and things like that. He uses synthesizers for our live performance. It ended up being the easiest thing to do and one of the most fun and unique things we could be doing on the road as a two-piece."

The two met shortly after Lemon moved to Monterey, Calif., from Wisconsin in 2010. At the time, Lemon played the open mic scene while Wobbles, a classically-trained musician, performed with a couple of local bands. It wasn't until a few years later that they connected musically. Lemon knew he played keys and asked him to play piano on her upcoming album. The duo has been performing together ever since.

On their upcoming new album, Lemon takes inspiration in her writing from the Valais witch trials. The concept album channels the 'otherness' of people and acts as an extended metaphor for the Trump administration.

"We do this a lot in history, we try and disassociate ourselves from each other, make each other into non-humans," Lemon says. "That's exactly what witch trials and werewolf trials are. You're making a declaration that this person is not really a person. And we're doing that right now in America and that disturbs me. It seems like something that we as a people should have gotten past by now."

While sonically Lemon compares the album to their previous work on "Aether," she confesses they have more freedom to have progressive tracks that flow from one to another with interludes. She calls this "musical open space," which builds into the next track.

"Eric really wants to be able to do the whole album front to back at a show," Lemon says. "We do have a couple of songs that we're already performing as singles from the upcoming album. The interludes and stuff would have to be part of a bigger show where we're doing a full hour performance. We're still working on that right now, but we want to be able to tour with that because we feel it would be a really unique experience for people."

In general, Lemon talks about her songwriting process as being mostly stream of consciousness. For the new album it was a little different as she had an idea of what she wanted to write about. She would start with an idea and then sit down with Eric who would play something or she would start a loop. The words came out of that process.

"A lot of what I do is getting rid of excess language," Lemon says. "I'm really a big fan of the economy of language. When I do stream of consciousness, it's a ton of content that can be condensed down into a single song. That was a lot of my process on this album. There were a couple of songs that I went back and did a full rewrite and overhaul of the lyrics, but I don't do that very much. Most of it comes pretty naturally."

The new album, "Lycanthropy," will include a full tour in support of the late summer release. Meanwhile, Lillie Lemon continues to spread electro-pop goodness while traveling in their Sprinter van listening to an SD card full of musical gems that range from Bon Iver to San Fermin to Kendrick Lamar.

Lillie Lemon

Wed., May 31, 9pm

Astro Lounge

939 NW Bond St., Bend


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