PHANTOM FOREST DUE OUT MAY 10
NORTH AMERICAN, UK & EUROPEAN TOUR DATES BEGIN APRIL 9
"Boldly trend-defying, pageantic pop music... Ainsworth's vocals work in tandem to catch light and color from new and exciting angles." - THE FADER
"Lydia Ainsworth doesn't so much subvert pop music, but skates around its edges... [She] blurs melodies and rote formats with a sense of mystery." - NPR
"Among pop music's experimental architects, Lydia Ainsworth has a unique knack for making grand sweeping gestures feel human." - PITCHFORK
"Ainsworth creates enough comforting fantasies to make us all feel at ease." - STEREOGUM
PHOTO CREDIT : Bryan Hyunh // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Lydia Ainsworth is returning with her self-produced album Phantom Forest on May 10, and today she shares its second single, "Tell Me I Exist". Paper says of the track,"Lydia Ainsworth creates the kind of bewitching pop that you'd swear soundtracked your dreams... Not unlike art-pop predecessors like Kate Bush or Bat For Lashes, listening to Ainsworth helps one connect to their subconscious, and to the world we live in." In an accompanying interview with the magazine, Ainsworth says, "I find many facets of social media to be meaningful and I feel more connected than ever with kindred spirits who I'd probably not been able to connect with had the technology not been there. But I am afraid of the way it is being harnessed by dictatorial powers. Our faces all stored in a tidy database. Technology has become a distraction to the truth."
Her third album, Phantom Forest is he follow up to 2017's Darling of the Afterglow and her first since relocating from Toronto to Los Angeles. The LP is themed around the precarious state of nature in the modern world introducing a lush, complex dream world that the singer, composer, and producer created and inhabited largely on her own.
Ainsworth produced Phantom Forest herself, and wrote all the songs with the exception of the closing track "Green Is The Color," a Pink Floyd cover, and "The Time" and "Give It Back To You", which she co-wrote with Kyle Dixon of Survive (Stranger Things).
Ainsworth, explains that the collection revealed itself to her "as a play taking place in Mother Nature's vanishing home," aka Phantom Forest, and that she's singing from three perspectives: herself, Mother Nature, and Greek Chorus. For instance, of the album's opener, "Diamonds Cutting Diamonds," she explains: "The Greek Chorus sets the scene, narrating and offering direction on how to enter Phantom Forest. It's my hope that the listener will imagine the narration to be directed to them as well, as they begin the journey of the album."
You'll get a sense of this from the collection's edenic cover art and the playful, pastoral video for the album's first single, "Can You Find Her Place". Its inspiration came from Ainsworth's love for Italian Renaissance painter Botticelli's 15-century masterpiece "Primavera", an allegorical representation of the burgeoning fertility of the earth in spring. She notes: "The video features the Greek gods of the painting in a choreographed Baroque style dance." Keeping with the personal feel of the collection, her sister Abby Ainsworth directed the clip.
In line with the classical and historical depths of Phantom Forest, Ainsworth, who holds a Masters Degree in film scoring composition from NYU and studied composition as an undergrad at McGill, notes that although the album might be considered pop, she approached it as an orchestrator. "Even if I'm dealing purely with synths," she says, "The songs are like a score, each one an evolving journey. I love to use strings so I've included my string arrangements on 'Tell Me I Exist' and 'Can You Find Her Place.' I recorded live musicians on drums, bass, and guitar on 'Edge of the Throne', 'The Time', and 'Floating Dream', and wove those live elements into my programmed elements."
Phantom Forest is a beautiful, vast collection that mixes the historical and the hands on, with hooks about the apocalypse and people obsessively using face-recognition software to see what paintings their face match with, in search of some kind of connection. It's a journey that holds up to close listening (and lyric reading) and to dance floors, but that can also exist on a purely emotional plane. In all cases, it asks that you listen, and take some kind of action.
LYDIA AINSWORTH TOUR DATES
4/09: Steelyard - London, UK
4/13: Le Bababoum - Paris, FR
4/14: La Bababoum - Paris, FR
4/17: Vega - Copenhagen, DK
4/26: The Phoenix - Toronto, ON
5/01: Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA
5/02: Elsewhere - Brooklyn, NY
5/03: Elsewhere - Brooklyn, NY
5/04: Underground Arts - Philadelphia, PA
5/05: U Street Music Hall - Washington, DC
5/09: El Club - Detroit, MI
5/10: Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL
5/11: Fine Line - Minneapolis, MN
5/14: Wonder Ballroom - Portland, OR
5/15: Neumos - Seattle, WA
5/17: Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
5/18: Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
PHANTOM FOREST TRACKLIST
1. Diamonds Cutting Diamonds
2. Tell Me I Exist
3. Can You Find Her Place
4. Edge Of The Throne
5. Kiss The Future
6. The Time
7. Give It Back To You
8. Floating Dream
9. Green Is The Color (Pink Floyd cover)