Imagine you’re on the set of a Michelangelo Antonioni Film…navigating heartbreak with a pen in hand and tears falling on a baby grand. There have been enough badass boyfriends who have delivered madness and passion to satiate your curious hearts’ desires. Unfortunately, they’ve left you coiled in the dust, writhing with your aching heart and with the only means of coping that has ever sustained you–secret diary entries which form into poems and then flourish into songs. Those songs would go on to become Retro-Moderne.
Lily Frost has created 14 albums over the years. The difference now is that she has upped her songwriting game. Lily has also become her own label and has full creative control.
Lily’s ears perked up when she heard the production of Gus Van Go on Whitehorse, Jill Barber and Matt Mays. She reached out to him to produce the best of hundreds of songs written in Nashville, Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles while working as a staff writer at Aporia Publishing.
Gus first fell for the song “Reckless Corazón,” then he heard “It’s The Love,” which brought him to tears. He and his team agreed to take on the album project.
Retro-Moderne is Lily’s best work to date. The record has a 60’s sound with girl group back-ups, spaghetti western guitars, live and programmed drums and hofner bass supporting Lily’s cool yarn-spinning voice.
The album has a Quentin Tarantino meets Wes Anderson aesthetic, as if these songs were the soundtrack to a film.
The album opens with Lily and Nichol Robertson interweaving on Wild is the Wind. Later, they appear together again in Sonny Bono’s Bang Bang.
Reckless Corazón is a telenovela of the woman who falls for for the bad guy. He’s messing with the wrong crew in Mexico and leaves her behind. She is torn between her head and her heart. The music is Latin-infused pop like Despacito.
Rainbow Glasses and Dud were co-written with Lily’s old band mate Chad Horton from Vancouver. Gus chose Rainbow out of the bunch. It’s a disco pop tune about riding around in a motor boat with Rainbow cop shades on, and is reminiscent of Rapture by Blondie.
Dud is meant to be tongue in cheek as well as a dark commentary about being unfulfilled. It’s laid back heroin surf has something of The Dandy Warhols.
The single Nickel and Dime (Cruel World) was written with Slakah the Beatchild. It moves from mod pop to dubstep and back again. It’s about style under pressure and mod mentality.
I Dodged A Bullet goes full girl group with twang and a killer chorus to boot. “I dodged a bullet heading straight for my heart, and with the luck I’ve got left I’m gonna run run run run run…”
Rock Me Baby stands out as a languid 50’s dream pop ballad which intimately brings a long distance love affair together in blissful embrace.