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Lily Perdida

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Album Review

With each album, Clue to Kalo (aka Mark Mitchell) has made significant musical strides. It's One Way, It's Every Way added more structure, vocals, and live instrumentation to Come Here When You Sleepwalk's delicately glitchy melodies, and Lily Perdida sounds even fuller and livelier than It's One Way, It's Every Way did, with brisk, bouncy indie pop that sounds more than a little like fellow Aussies Architecture in Helsinki (who seem to be on the opposite trajectory from Clue to Kalo, adding more electronic elements to their sound with each release). Lily Perdida is also more conceptual than It's One Way, It's Every Way; considering that that album was described by Mitchell as "a musical palindrome" about death, that's saying something. This album tells the life story of its titular character from birth to death, using the view points of those close to her: The Brother, The Familiars, etc. However, the music doesn't get bogged down in the concept — in fact, it's barely apparent unless you listen along with the lyric sheet (which reveals cleverly written lines like "Lull for Dear Life — by the Parents"' "Lily, first of three to take us over/You'll turn to grief as you grow older"). What is immediately recognizable is that this is some of Mitchell's most purposeful sounding music: where Come Here When You Sleepwalk drifted and swirled like pixels in a digital breeze and It's One Way, It's Every Way offered linear song progressions, Lily Perdida is crisp instead of wispy, offering lots of immediate hooks and melodies, especially on the Belle & Sebastian-esque "User to a Carrier — by the Sister," the he-said she-said breakup story of "It's Here the Story's Straight" and "The Infinite Orphan," which boasts an irresistible keyboard line and hand drums. Not all of the album reaches these heights, but most of Lily Perdida is charming — it's like these songs were always within Mitchell's reach, but were buried underneath processing and slower tempos in his earlier work, and they're bursting out here.

Biography

Born: Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The project of Adelaide, Australia's Mark Mitchell, Clue to Kalo began as glitchy laptop pop but evolved into a symphonic indie pop band. As a child, Mitchell pretended he was a recording artist, making up songs and cover artwork for fake albums, but didn't want to learn how to play an instrument. He channeled his imagination into writing — and even pursued a Ph.D. in English — but revisited making music when a high-school friend showed him computer multi-track recording. Mitchell began...
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Lily Perdida, Clue to Kalo
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