Lila Tristram – Our Friends – Album Review
by Killian Laher
Lila Tristram is an English singer-songwriter. Half the songs on her debut album came out as an EP a few months back, but here is her debut album proper. It’s an album of sparse, stripped-back songs. You’ll feel like stopping the world for the opener Abstractions, and let the guitar picking and vocals wash over you, along with the sound of water washing back and forth. Haunting but brief, it’s the sound of cold, quiet, early mornings. Go Back to Bed follows it up in a similar vein.
More gorgeous fingerpicking opens Arrow. This one is pitched a little darker, with shades of Pink Moon-era Nick Drake, as later on is the brief Anymore, this latter one finishing with Tristram sighing gently. Into Sleep is an interlude that consists mainly of high pitched ‘cooing’. It comes across as a little twee but doesn’t jar too much. Even the whimsical folk of Leaving Song fits in, and a bit of piano on For Grace works just as well as what went before. More water introduces Thames II, a pleasant instrumental featuring strings. The title track comes towards the end of the album and the playing and singing is so soft, you nearly hold your breath listening to it. The album ends with Heyday. Much of the first half of the track is taken up by some sort of spoken word over guitar fingerpicking, before Tristram’s singing rounds off the album.
There’s not a lot of variation here, it’s very much a solo piece, showcasing Lila Tristram’s voice and guitar playing. There’s a lightness of touch that sets this apart. If you liked Aoife Nessa Frances album earlier this year, this may well be up your street.
2. Go Back To Bed
4. Into Sleep
5. For Grace
6. Leaving Song (That Outfit Doesn’t Suit You)
8. Thames II
9. Our Friends