This eight track mini album is the debut release from 20-year-old Foxton ex-pat, current Auckland resident, Alicia Lineham – stage name Lilo Peaks.
You couldn’t ask for a stronger opening statement to a young artist’s career, the music explores a range of contemporary popular styles and songwriting techniques, her voice holding promise that no doubt will strengthen and develop over time. Similarities can be drawn with The XX and London Grammar in the minimal vocally-driven heart of most of the songs.
Apparently influenced by James Blake, space is used here almost as an instrument. Bass warbles, electronic glitches and soulful synths lead most songs along. However this is not a strictly minimal affair, that’s just the starting point from which Lineham takes the listener on a journey to some lofty heights.
Her vocals are treated differently in each song, sometimes stark and alone, built into an ensemble or even swallowed by an Imogen Heap-esque vocoder. A number of the songs also feature tasteful horn arrangements, serving to set it apart from most of the music in this genre. The songwriting is strong throughout and approaches the quirky or experimental facets with confidence and aplomb.
While not perfect, ‘Snucks Pt. 1’ brims with possibility and potential. It is an ambitious contemporary pop production that more than suggests we can expect good things to come from this promising artist.