A "spiritual retreat" is a most American phrase.
It conjures up images of new age gurus, of flimsy philosophy and health food gimmicks. Yet, with the pace of everyday life increasing by the minute, it feels like an idea which grows more and more tantalising.
Lia Ices pieced together her new album during one such retreating. Getting away from it all, the songwriter worked with her "psychic twin brother" Eliot to expand on her original ideas.
"Each song on Ices became a collage of times, places, and people" she explains. "Most of them started in the Hudson Valley, where Eliot and I wrote and recorded vocals, guitars, synths, and beat ideas. We'd send those first incarnations to Clams Casino in New Jersey and then we'd meet up in Brooklyn to arrange the new parts together. We worked in the penthouse of the Wythe Hotel - a floating glass box , a blank slate. We'd set up our computer, mixing speakers, midi keyboards, and all our weird gear, plus thai food and red wine."
"We'd bring up one of our demos and we'd sit behind the midi keyboard and sift through sounds and ideas and beats and find new things together. After the Wythe Sessions (in Brooklyn) we took different tracks to Woodstock and Los Angeles to layer in live drums and percussion, and I went to Atlanta to record final vocals. For the first time, Lia Ices felt like an inclusive project with its own identity, not just a name."
Stripped from the new album, 'Higher' is a blissful introduction. Electronic beats speckled with Californian sun, the hazy, Impressionistic feel is cut through with Lia Ices' vocals.
Check it out now.