White Lilac has come a long way in a short space of time, not least musically. With Faye Rogers’s early solo work now a distant yet charming memory, the band that formed in that chapter of the story now help her head down a more mesmerizing path. I’m guessing that the moment you realise that the sound you have imagined in your head for so long is now achievable with the people that you have around you, must be the moment when anything seems possible.
First single, Night Visions, was a brilliant statement of intent and immediately disassociated the new band from Faye’s earlier work and saw them take up camp in a cinematic indie soundscape of mist and shadows, as much a modern, ambient gothic film score as a song in the mainstream sense.
And yet as if to prove that they hadn’t put all of their musical eggs into one basket, what followed was even more heart achingly beautiful. Working with a sound palette that roams between Joy Division’s angular melancholy and Cocteau Twins dreamscapes, The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower shows that even within those parameters they find plenty of room to create a truly unique sound.
A homage to Audrey Hepburn seems the perfect subject matter for the band, both lyrically and musically and the gradual phasing in of Faye’s saxophone is perfect here to create a sonorous Parisian vibe. Strings sweep, vocals swoon, beats act as occasional punctuation marks and guitar lines merely provide a bed for delicate atmospherics to lie down on.
If there is one band in Swindon today making a truly unique sound then it is White Lilac, the fact that it happens to be one of the most emotive and evocative you have ever heard is an added bonus.