“Waning gibbous, waxing gibbous/ Waning crescent, waxing crescent”. Although whimsical, these lyrics from opening track “Waning” are a perfect start for what is to come.
Welcome to Happy Horse Lamp, the debut album from Lilito.
Aforementioned ‘Waning’ straight away displays Lilito’s use of dynamics as the the song builds and drops like a roller coaster through a forest. Coming into “Nuh Uh” Lilito shows a vulnerable side lyrically: “My head hurts more than usual / I think it’s got to do with something you’ve said”. Some little flecks akin to old school Eisley come through, with the dark bridge softening through gorgeously bright harmonies.
Lilito shows restraint within their song writing, letting the songs speak for themselves. That being said, production-wise the subtle layering adds to the soul-impacting dynamics. It also helps Happy Horse Lamp reveal more of itself upon repeat listens, creating more surprise in the process.
Anyway, songs like “Ding Dong Ditch” carry strong imagery and the stunning “Mountain” help drive the desire to dig back in digging back in for a new listening adventure. The verse melodies of “Fellow” give goosebumps whilst “Bob Dylan”‘s reggae-ish beat mixed with Lilito’s dreamy melodies keeps feet tapping, as well as the repeat button.
Happy Horse Lamp continues on its dreamy way with the lyrically vulnerable “Why’m I”, a song of forgiveness in possibly the wrong places. It then closes the aptly titled “Choo Choo Says Goodbye”. The start sounds like a missing solo for Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, which is a huge tick for me. Lily’s layered and haunting vocals guide through a kaleidoscope of keys and organs gorgeously layered on top of each other. Each addition compliments the last until everything pulls back to one single organ, magically ending this beautiful, honest and dare I say it again, whimsical album.