Lilly Carron has found herself savouring the present. From her debut EP release in 2020, 'Messy Mind', where Carron finds herself looking back and thinking "you're such a little baby!", to now, where she describes the upcoming EP as confident; her present-day ear finely tuned to listen for what she knows she likes and what she knows she doesn't.
We caught up with Lilly Carron alongside the release of her Coup De Main x NZ On Air: Artist Zine and before the release of her upcoming new EP, 'And The Clouds Came Undone', to talk all things writing, confidence, and fuller songs...
COUP DE MAIN: How did you first get into making and writing music?
LILLY CARRON: I made my first proper and complete song when I was 17. I've always been quite a journaler, writing silly poems and stuff. I think that would probably be the origin story, and singing with my sister growing up as well. She was always really great at the guitar so we would sing our favourite songs together.
CDM: Would you say your songwriting process is starting with poems and prose? Or do you start with melody?
LILLY: Not so much now. I feel like I usually write as I'm recording or playing, but sometimes I can if I'm feeling stuck; that's my go-to. Taking away all the variables and just writing versus being subversive.
CDM: Is there a lyric of yours that you're most proud of writing?
LILLY: My favourite song off this new project is 'Apricot Sun', and there's a line that is like "swept into slumber / feel the world dissolve around me / in a sun-baked coma / just a body filled with honey." I think it's something along those lines. It just makes me feel present and warm and fuzzy, and I love it.
CDM: Do you find writing from your own experience or something other than yourself easier?
LILLY: Oh, good question. I find it easier, I would say, to write from a personal experience. But then there is also something easier about writing from something outside of yourself because it's less introspective. I do find when you're writing about your own experiences, there's a little bit of healing that goes on there because you're processing and sitting outside of the experience as well. Either way, they've got their own challenges and their own blessings.
CDM: You spoke about healing, when you finish a song does it kind of feel like a weight off your shoulders in a way? A scabbing of a wound?
LILLY: I'd say so, yeah. Especially the first project, I listen back and I'm like, "Oh, you're such a little baby!" I do really like that you can put it out there and then let the emotion sit in that world and not hold on to it too much in the physical body - it's kind of outside of yourself now.
CDM: How important do you think New Zealand is to your music? Do you think your music would sound different if you lived elsewhere?
LILLY: I mean, probably! Although, the way that we access music, you can literally listen to anyone and everything right now. But I would say the environment definitely influenced my music. I've only left New Zealand once in my life. I've been to Australia and Fiji when I was a baby. I'd say it would be different because the people you surround yourself with, and the environment, really shapes the way you express yourself.
CDM: If you had to describe the 'And The Clouds Came Undone' EP in 3 words, what would they be?
LILLY: I have a dictionary! Oohhh, three words! Okay, there's a lot. There's a lot of contrast in there. I feel like some songs are very soft and delicate and then some are really, "I want to get up and dance." I like contrast. Sunny - I use a lot of weather and nature analogies so I guess that would make sense. Confident - I just feel like I've learned how to articulate and write and what works for me, and I can hear it when I listen to it.
CDM: You've talked about your song 'Superhuman' manifesting strength and delving into insecurity, what would you say the new songs manifest and delve into?
LILLY: Maybe self-awareness because there is 'Wild For Change'. It's being aware that my actions can affect my life and that I'm in control of what I do and how I do it.
CDM: How different is some of your older, released music from 'And The Clouds Came Undone'?
LILLY: The production is different, the sound is fuller. I've still got songs that feel like the last project, but the production is fuller with a lot more guitars and drums which I'm excited about. The way I project my voice, I feel like I've found a confidence and found different ways I can use my voice which makes it a little bit more interesting for me. I'm excited to perform these ones.
CDM: Do you have one that you're most excited to perform?
LILLY: 'Keeping Our Bodies Warm' is gonna be a fun one live. And then also 'Apricot Sun' because I'm intrigued. It's very harmony-heavy and I'm very intrigued to play that one out.
CDM: With the EP not out in the world just yet, do you feel protective of it at this point? Or are you feeling more excited for people to hear it at this point?
LILLY: I'm excited and protective because this is my baby! I'm ready for it to be birthed but I'm still holding it and guarding it.
CDM: What constitutes a perfect day for you?
LILLY: A sleep-in. I'm a sucker for a sleep-in and waking up to the warm sun. A day in a park with a picnic. Lots of cheese and bread, maybe some wine, and then a swim to end it all off. Pretty basic, but I like to keep it chill.
CDM: It's so nice because you could do that tomorrow if you wanted to.
LILLY: No, I'm like: "I want to go to sleep in Auckland and wake up in Paris!"
CDM: Do you have a favourite song of yours - of all time?
LILLY: I would say 'Ugly Cry' because I feel like it's quite an emotional track. I like that I could do that and that I could speak those emotions out there. I'm proud of that.
CDM: Finally, what's next for you?
LILLY: I mean, the EP! In tow with that, I hope for some live performances because I feel like this project is going to sound pretty cool. I'm in the moment.
Watch the music video for 'Ugly Cry' below...
[Made with support from Nz On Air]