We all have different ways of dealing with breakups. Perhaps one is quietly brooding in a dark room while listening to Boyz II Men on repeat. But it doesn't have to be like that. And even though singer-songwriter Lily Claire hasn't recently been on the receiving end of heartbreak, it doesn't mean she can't empathize. That's why her latest single, "Lovesongs," with its melancholy lyrics and blaring synth pop beat, functions as an upbeat ode to broken hearts everywhere. It's the first of what's sure to be a smorgasbord of alternative music from the N.Y.C. native's newly-branded indie rock sextet Parlour Tricks (formerly Lily & the Parlour Tricks), which has shifted its focus from '50s retro to alt-modern music, and as importantly, with their wardrobe, trading vintage wears for trendier pieces from Nasty Gal, Topshop, and Jeffrey Campbell ("their shoes are the most comfortable to dance in," Claire says). We caught up with the singer during the CMJ Music Marathon in N.Y.C. Here are a few tidbits from our chat:
You were born and raised in New York. What are some of your favorite spots?
My favorite bars are mostly in Williamsburg. I love Hotel Delmano, and Noorman’s Kil covers all your bases: grilled cheese and whiskey. For food, I love Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Al di Là in Park Slope. I’m very serious about Chinatown too. Nice Green Bo is my absolute favorite. They have the best soup dumplings in the world.
How about shopping?
I love vintage, but recently I've been dressing more modern. Beacon’s Closet in Park Slope is great, and Personnel of New York in the West Village—but only when they have sales! We wear a lot of Nasty Gal, Topshop, and Jeffrey Campbell. All six of us dress pretty similarly.
Let's talk about the music. "Lovesongs" is a pretty big sonic departure from your earlier work, and your band even has a new name.
The ‘50s definitely used to be a huge influence for us. I'll always love the tight harmonies of Buddy Holly, The Andrews Sisters, and The Coronets, because I used to listen to barbershop quartets when I was a kid. But then there’s Nine Inch Nails, Fiona Apple, and other ‘90s artists I look up to, so it runs the gamut. Now our three-part harmonies are coasted on top of this denser, more modern music.
It sounds like the ultimate breakup song.
But it's not! I had been listening to a bunch of oldies, like The Everly Brothers, and those songs that just give you that feeling that something emotional and dramatic is happening in your life, even if it isn't. It's about listening to those kind of songs. They make you feel lovesick, and it's heart-wrenching, and those are the feelings music can evoke. The song isn't itself a love song, but it's just about the tumbling feeling of being swept up in something.
Listen to “Lovesongs” below, plus discover more bands that are currently on our radar now!