Some of the best music happens when you least expect it. Detroit indie pop outfit, Lady (Indira Edwards, Paris from Tokyo, Brian Castillo, Jacob Waymaster, Jojo Diaz-Orsi, Armand Boisvenue IV a.k.a Sleepyboiiii) found this to be true when they went to the woods together with no expectations and came out of it with an EP and what producer and songwriter Paris describes as some of the best music they’ve ever made. “I was like, let’s just make four songs – that shouldn’t be hard,” says Paris. “Then we ended up making the best four songs.” A short documentary edited by Paris and Tyler Jenkins goes into more detail on making the EP.
The band’s lead songwriters, Paris and Edwards, have been friends for years, but this was their first time working on a project together. They went into collaboration with only one thing in mind – fluidity. The result is in the woods, a cascading collection of songs that flow into each other with ease, premiering today on Audiofemme.
“I feel like the name ‘Lady’ encapsulates everything that the band is,” says Edwards. “Sort of, like, this blanket feminine energy: there’s grace but also a hardness to it.” That dichotomy is found in the first single off the EP, “u and i.” Over a background of lush synths and smooth guitar, Edwards’ cutting vocals paint a picture of someone they used to know driving right past them as they hitchhike on the side of the road. A metaphor for loss and abandonment, the song hits hard for anyone who has seen someone they love turn into a stranger. Edwards begs the familiar question – “Do you even really know I’m there?/‘Cuz I don’t think you even really care.” Whether it’s watching that someone drive away without acknowledging you or scrolling on their IG feed and seeing them look unbothered, Edwards captures the pain caused by apathy from a former loved one.
Edwards explains that the songwriting process for “u and i” – and all of the songs on the record – was a deeply collaborative experience. Paris first wrote the chorus on a ukulele and brought it to the band, who then transformed it into something completely different. This improvisational energy carried itself through the entire process. “It really felt like a pass the torch experience,” says Edwards. “For the intro, ‘cudi hum,’ Indira made this beautiful composition,” says Paris. “I was fucking around and started humming like Kid Cudi because I thought it was funny and it would make everyone laugh. Then it became a song.”
The band shifts effortlessly from loose instrumentals like “cudi hum” and “audio hypnosis” to a gorgeous cover of Charlotte Dos Santos song “Red Clay.” Edwards’ vocals shimmer over distorted bass and waves of sparkling synths pays homage to Dos Santos while shaping the song to match the band’s watery, ethereal sound. Where “Red Clay” and “u and i” give the listener a chance to ruminate on love lost, songs like “limeade” offer an avenue to escape altogether.
Layered, distant vocals guide scintillating bells and synths along a river of calm and escape. Lush swells are followed by a sparse melody, allowing us to ease back into whatever reality surrounds us. Throughout the EP, there’s room for anger, longing, contemplation and rest. The music’s liquidity reassures us that these feelings are fleeting; that they can happen all at the same time or completely vanish for a moment. “Lady, in itself, represents fluidity and constant change,” says Paris.
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