LILIES IN THE VALLEY OF VIOLETS – “F.E.M. (FT. ANNIE MAXWELL)”
A SPILL EXCLUSIVE MUSIC PREMIERE
The alter ego of American electronic music producer Aaron Sternick, lilies in the valley of violets (LIVV) channels his passion for dark emotive house music and earworm songwriting into upbeat synth-driven dance music.
Eschewing a history of lone wolf studio isolation, the LIVV ethos is predicated on collaboration with femme or femme-fronted bands and artists, often in his studio In Philadelphia. Every livv song goes from bedroom demo through many hours of growth and strengthening until the chrysalis emerges as a dance floor bop butterfly.
Last March, LIVV released “With You” (ft. Annie Maxwell), a dark, angular disco-house tune featuring hooky vocals from longtime collaborator Annie Maxwell. The song embodies the essence of what LIVV set out to do with this project – taut, driving drums evoking DFA Records, throbbing house-influenced bass, warm synths of a bygone era, and a general sense of existential malaise. Music You Wanna Listen To described the track as “ear worm friendly”, while Surviving the Golden Age heard “shades of MGMT, Ladytron, and Daft Punk.”
“With You” burst first from the ashes of a batch of pandemic demos, and this fall LIVV will release three infectious dance-floor anthems from that original set. “Feelings” sees LIVV collaborating with GNIE, a U.K.-based singer/producer, to create a track that blends Chicago house organ lines with brilliant hooky vocal flourishes. “F.E.M.” is a kaleidoscope, a psychedelic disco track that morphs in chameleonic waves and sees Annie Maxwell coming back with barbed lyrics aimed at the professional tech-bro class. Finally, “Get Inside” is 2001: A Space Odyssey on DMT, taking bretheone’s intimate, conversational vocals into the stars with an interstellar street walking beat.
Annie and I go back a few years. We collaborated on her album Keystone (2020) and again on my first single “With You”. While working on the latter, we had a backup single from an early batch of pandemic demos – Annie sent me an incredible voice memo track with hooks galore and in between the “With You” session we’d come back to this track and bounce ideas off one another. What I see now is that “With You” taught us a lot of lessons about production and developing hooks and grooves that we would apply with MUCH greater success to this new track.
The project LIVV actually started as a much more angry concept – welcoming to all kinds of feelings of rage, despair and loneliness as long as they weren’t coming from cismale voices. Annie used this song as an opportunity to send up the Bezos/Musk/Zucc technoRATi and offer a healthy dose of appreciation for becoming less online. Annie never minces words or skimps on lyrical delivery and I am extremely proud of how strongly the message of “F.E.M.” comes across. ~Aaron Sternick
Lilies In The Valley Of Violets
Release Date: November 12, 2021