Hip hop has a way of typically being associated with acts that hold “the most bling.” Lil Wayne and Eminem immediately come to mind, yet local acts seem to be a rarity. That memory lapse has ceased since listening to II.
There is frequent discussion of acts from Raleigh, but itʻs well known that Durham has a strong base for the local music scene. (The city is home to Merge Records, which is one of the largest US based (indie rock) record labels with bands such as Wild Flag, Superchunk, and Telekinesis under its wing.) LiLa, which consists of JLa and EmcD, is a reminder that indie rock isnʻt the only genre worth listening to around here.
What these men lack in major record labels and ridiculously overpriced clothing, they more than make up for with their words. The duo has a wide range with tracks such as “Group Therapy” — which falls along the lines of folk rock — to “Avalanche” and “The Collector” with their smooth flowing lyrics that coincide quite well with the quiet guitar (and xylophone in the case of “Avalanche”) steadily trucking along in the background.
On first listen, it can be easy to associate the band with other more famous acts from the past decade. LiLa is different, however, in that they have been consistent in their hard work, and it shows. They donʻt seem to rely on record labels to do the heavy hauling; the duo is content with doing it on their own. II is LiLaʻs second album, and is worth listening to in order to find the subtle pleasures within the lyrics they spit out. The tracks do well by not only working well on their own but flowing together into a mostly consistent album. ”BeatBreaker” is a nice ending but feels too far removed from the rest of the album; itʻs a long winded track at nearly 15 minutes long. With the rest of II consisting of upbeat but not overly rambunctious tracks, it is still worth a listen but would have been more cohesive with a slightly edited ending.
II is available for purchase on iTunes and on BandCamp.
No related posts.