In their third full-length album, Dot to Dot, multi-instrumentalists Lisa Masia and Marina Crisofalo take us on a journey through '60s-esque psychedelic folk and hazy shoegazed pop. The album drifts into a more mature sound for the duo as drummer Valentina Magaletti joins the lineup. The acoustic drumming propels the tracks more into pop territory and away from the experimental folk that defined the Lilies on Mars 2008 self-titled release and 2011’s Wish You Were A Pony. Dot to Dot makes its official debut on Saint Marie Records today (February 11th), and EARMILK brings you the entirety of Dot to Dot for your streaming pleasure.
From the opening track, “See You Sun”, Lilies On Mars sets the tone and eases you into an album of whimsically hypnotic soundscapes. As a duo, Lilies on Mars is known for experimenting with whatever instruments they can get their hands on. Vintage organs, synthesizers, and an array of percussion and effects appear on the album which has an overall enchanted, cinematic feel.
“Dream of Bees” was the first single we heard from Dot to Dot. One of the most solid tracks on the album, it sends a whirlwind of echoing instrumentation and melting vocals to your ears. The result sounds similar to dream pop acts like Au Revoir Simone, Beach House, or The Postmarks. Suiting the romanticized sci-fi vibes of the track, the video follows a cyborg in her search to find the meaning life.
Washed out vocals and instrumentation on tracks like “SIDE ABCDE”, “Entre-Temps”, the interval tracks, and "The First 3 Years" show more of a minimal side to Lilies on Mars. They provide a seductive ambiance that holds the listener until the next track comes. “No Way” has more pop structure and melody, with more present guitars and layered echoing vocals. It sounds the most like the aforementioned dream pop acts. The purest point of shoegaze for Lilies on Mars comes with the track “So Far Dear America”, whereas “Impossible Child” and “Martians” take more of a post-rock direction.
Another highlight on the album is “Oceanic Landscape”, which features Italian singer-songwriter, composer, and filmmaker Franco Battiato. The lushness and serenity perfectly reflect the name of the track as it sails through ambient synths and vocals that sound as though they were projected underwater. The melancholy and eerie air surrounding the track prove to be gorgeous. It was picked by Simon Raymonde, co-founder of Bella Union and member of Cocteau Twins, as the “Track of the Week” on his radio show.
There are only a few standalone tracks on the album, but in its entirety, Dot to Dot is a beautiful work of art. It shows growth in the Lilies on Mars sound while still maintaining the avant-garde soundscapes that first brought them on to the scene. Check out Lilies on Mars on tour with Fanfarlo and enjoy the preview of their third album Dot to Dot.