This Friday, Oct. 8, is a big day for Lillie West. Not only will she be releasing her latest album under her Lala Lala moniker I Want The Door To Open, but she’ll also be playing a huge release show at Thalia Hall. So in anticipation for what is looking like a fantastic show (featuring fellow Chicago-based artists Divino Niño and Kara Jackson) and album, take a listen/look to the closing track off I Want The Door To Open: “Utopia Planet.”
While the video to Lala Lala’s first single “Diver” felt isolated and distant as she tore her way into a block of ice, “Utopia Planet” sends us to another realm entirely. The animated video, created by Meggie van Zwieten, mirrors the polished digital reality of I Want The Door To Open’s album cover. Shapes, organic and completely alien, appear from nothing as the song’s vibes take over your mind.
The song itself is just as big of a trip West’s digitally distorted vocals run tandem with the lofty synths and instrumentation with eventual appearance of Sen Morimoto’s exquisite saxophone that lifts any song it appears on into another realm. “Utopia Planet” was created out of a conversation with Kara Jackson, challenging one another to write a song about utopia. West’s vision of a perfect world mixes imagery of destruction (avalanches and spiders crawling to their doom) with those of ambiguous unity as she sings “Everything is here, here / In real time no mirror, no mirror”. Despite its sparse lyricism, the track feels dense and absorbing, evoking something deep from within oneself. “Everyone you know, you know / Dreams of letting go.”
Towards the end of the song West’s grandmother’s voice breaks in. “That your from another planet.” she says, “as if you’re in another world.” Throughout the song it’s hard not to feel that these lines are truer than one can fully understand, as West’s voice and work definitely have an otherworldly quality.
The final inference of West’s voice, free from the electronic warp, echos the idea to “Let go.” Even without the rest of the album as context, there is something freeing about “Utopia Planet” as it exits with its mind bending sounds leading into the unknown.
Lala Lala will be making her way to Thalia Hall this Friday, October 8, alongside the always great Divino Niño and the immeasurable talent of poet and songwriter Kara Jackson. . Tickets start at $18 for this incredible show! Lala Lala’s I Want the Door to Open is releasing on Hardly Art the same day! You can preorder/presave the album at your favorite retailer and streaming service here!
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