Hello and welcome to the Discovery Corner on BTR! We’re shipping up to Boston once again this week to check out the math-rock-pop trio Lilith.
Photo courtesy of the band
Music is math.
It’s a simple enough pronouncement even the most steadfast dreamers and creative thinkers will acknowledge at some point in their musical endeavors.
That being said, most of the popular music that we hear doesn’t exactly bring to mind intricate sub-divisions and complicated meters. Whether we’re dancing or just thumbing through radio stations on a drive to work, our collective ears are accustomed to what more avant-garde artists like Frank Zappa have bemoaned as “four on the floor.”
While jazz has a longstanding tradition of rhythmic experimentation, rock and roll didn’t strive to break the popular mould until the late ‘80s–a time which saw progressive mammoths like King Crimson and Steve Reich releasing records that included challenging time signatures, counterpoint, and often dissonant chordal structures.
Artists like these spawned a new genre of music which sought to technically and structurally outshine the others. Someone along the way dubbed it “math rock,” and the name has stuck (to some degree).
It’s a niche road for listeners. Not everyone is going to bob their head in 7/8, or follow an intensely acrobatic guitar line that seems to loop independent of the band. This rare breed of musicians seems keener on recognition of ability and intricate songwriting than they are concerned with exposure.
Even in mathematics, there are exceptions to every rule. Lilith, a power trio based out of Boston, Massachusetts, manages to embrace the zany perfectionism of the genre while simultaneously eschewing some of its esotericism. It’s still ambitious as hell and beautifully sculpted, rich with undulating rhythms that challenge the mind. It just also happens to be catchy.
But enough words, check out the tunes for yourself.
And don’t forget to check out the Discovery Artist feature on Lilith!
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