Lille, Sophisticated Rock From Holland


Lille

Lille

One of my favorite projects within the Sellaband community is The Collaboration Project, a group of like-minded musicians, writers, producers and performers who…ah but I’ve already written that article so I won’t repeat myself more than to say how much I admire what this project is about and to state that it is grossly underfunded. The artist currently featured on The Collaboration Project’s profile page is a singer from The Netherlands who, if her demo recordings are any indication, has everything it takes to kick in whatever doors stand between her and a shot at being the next great diva. Her name is Lille and she is quite simply one of the most impressive voices I’ve heard in a good long while.

Casper Van Vulpen

Casper Van Vulpen

With Lille, producers Casper Van Vulpen and Kostek Andreevย  have a real tiger by the tail. Lille rocks hard and easily holds her own as the focal point of the high energy guitar driven tracks. But as I listen to track after track I find that there is so much more to this elegant singer than just an amazing set of pipes. She sings with the soulful aggressiveness of a Lydia Pense on No Mercy Blues and then turns around to display the sophistication and dynamics of a young Celine Dion on Phobia.

If that isn’t enough to convince, take a listen to Frozen Black Water as Lille gives Deborah Holland and Animal Logic a good run for their money. But, as Billy Mays, the late master of the Home Shopping Network would scream…”Wait! There’s more!” Lille steps on the gas with both cowboy boots on Traveling Girl and her range and emotional dynamic sensibilities really shine on Listen.

Kostek Andreev

Kostek Andreev

The production of the demos provides ample proof of strong songwriting, masterful guitar playing and a thorough understanding of the huge potential of their enormously gifted singer. According to Lille’s website, the demos were produced in a modest home recording environment with fully produced studio recording sessions scheduled for late this year. With demos of this quality there is always the danger of over sanitization when a project is put under the studio microscope but with the addition of human beings like drummer Nico Groen and Roland Franken on bass replacing Kostek’s excellent programming, my guess is that the tracking sessions will inspire Lille to even greater vocal performances…if that could be possible.

Nico Groen

Nico Groen

If the full band grooves as hard as Casper and Kostek’s computer this could be a dangerously memorable album. I have just one reservation or perhaps a word of caution. The musicians involved with Lille are all absolutely of the first order. But using Animal Logic as an illustration for a moment, Stuart Copeland had as his rhythm section partner the amazing Stanley Clark, certainly a step up from the able yet less intricate Police bassist, Sting. One could also argue that guitarist Michael Thompson’s guitar parts on the Animal Logic albums were more advanced than what Andy Summers played on some of the Police records. But there is no question that there are more copies of Every Breath You Take playing on iPods as I write this than all the Animal Logic songs combined.

Roland Franken

Roland Franken

Now, I really dig Animal Logic, but I’m a musician. And when musicians produce records aimed at impressing other musicians they sometimes leave the general public scratching their heads wondering what it all means. Kostek and Casper are both monster guitarists and have written some sophisticated material for Lille including collaborations with Monica Thomas and British songwriter Mark Payne. When this project convenes to record later this winter I hope that a few words of wisdom from EVH can get some traction. When I asked Ed why background vocals are so important to him he answered that 99% of the people who buy albums and attend concerts are non-musicians…and if they don’t go home from a concert singing “PA-NA-MA” and “Dance The Night Away” then he would still be an amazing guitar player…only nobody would know it.

Lille’s debut album will be available in 2010 but if you want a preview, visit Lille, Casper and Kostek at Reverbnation, Sellaband or her new website. Crank up the volume and hang on. These people are serious

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