Lia Ices and Phantogram may be the most most perfectly suited odd couple on tour all year. The former, in the support slot, a whimsically ethereal, electro-leaning, beat-making singer/songwriter. The latter, and headliner, a full-blown electro-pop spectacle. The former is best suited for endearingly awkward summer makeout sessions… The latter for a joyful, illegal dance party at the end of the world. It’s not that the two acts don’t fit, it’s actually that they fit perfectly, but more as two sides to the same identity, a day [sound] and night[sound], if you will. And although Phantogram will likely have the far more dynamic live experience, I’m actually more excited for Ms. Ices’ opening set, which will likely boast the better part of her recently released third LP, Ices, her most accomplished effort yet. Philly will actually have two chances to experience Lia Ices and Phantogram, as they will be hitting up Union Transfer on October 18th (which is sold out) and 19th (which is not). I recently got a chance to chat with Lia Ices about the album and the tour.
Izzy Cihak” You just released your third LP, Ices. How do you feel the album compares to your first two LPs?
Lia Ices: I wrote and produced this album with my brother, Eliot, which was the first time I’ve been deeply collaborative during the writing process. It was important for me to retreat and develop new systems; we got deep into sounds, analog synthesis, beat making and production. Unlike my first two albums, we also did most of the tracking at home, or with Clams Casino at the Wythe Hotel (which is where we had production sessions with him) and saved the studio solely for vocals and mixing.
Izzy: What would you consider to be Ices’ most significant influences?
Lia: Ices is a celebration of flight, levity, and the conviction that you can leave Earth. You take wing in an airplane, you go to real places when you dream, you have out of body experiences, you get high, you lose yourself in someone else. I want people to feel free when they listen to this album, I want it to take them somewhere — that’s what it does for me.
Izzy: And what are the biggest differences between the artist who recorded Necima and the artist who recorded Ices, if there are any noteworthy differences?
Lia: No difference, just more experience and experiments.
Izzy: What would you consider to be the highlights of the time in-between your first and third record?
Lia: Moments of strange beauty, when I realize I am totally creating my own reality. I remember a particular day last fall… working on the record in our Hudson Valley farm house and taking a break from recording a Persian santoor solo on “Higher” to harvest quince from the tree outside our studio window, while in a deep text message thread with Diplo about the vocals I’m laying down for Riff Raff.
Izzy: You’re signed to Jagjaguwar, which seems to be a super cool label. What are your thoughts on the label? Any particular favorite label peers?
Lia: Yes, they are as rad as you think! Honored to be part of the family — I’ve been a big Black Mountain fan for about a decade.
Izzy: You’re currently on the road with Phantogram. How exciting is that? Were you previously fans of the band?
Lia: Super exciting! Yes, I really like what Phantogram is up to. We are going to play in so many places I’ve never been to in this country, so I’m really looking forward to getting to know America a little better.
Izzy: Are there any cities or stages that you’re especially excited to play on this tour?
Izzy: And what do you have planned for the last part of 2014 and the first part of 2015, after this batch of live dates wraps up?
Lia: Eliot and I are finishing up a mixtape under our production moniker, Benny Sagittarius. We actually have a little mobile studio set up in the van right now, so we can keep working during these long drives. We will continue to support and tour this album through the end of this year and into next… Hopefully back to Philly soon!