Music / Features
Track by Track:
Exquisite Corpse - Lilith
Words by James Lynch
Friday 25th September, 2020
Off the back of the release of her debut EP Lilith today, Melbourne-based producer and songwriter Lily Dee has invited us into the ambient and evocative world of Exquisite Corpse, and taken us through the EP track by track.
With a comprehensive background in composition and performance, as a talented multi-instrumentalist, classical vocalist and touring chorister, you might expect Lily Dee’s solo music to exploit her extensive scope of sound and style. However, on her debut EP as Exquisite Corpse, the most recurring theme is restraint. Created during isolation as a form of meditation, Lilith serves as a gateway into the mind of a masterful and mindful musician, encompassing all the uncertainty, introspection and restlessness of our current lives and transforming this into an affecting, yet fleeting, escape.

Although a collection of tracks, Lilith plays best as an evolving soundscape - one that warps, flickers and stretches out to match Lily’s own unease. Following a sparse and ethereal introduction, ‘Seas’ emerges with Lily’s delicate vocals over an otherworldly backdrop, before eventually settling into place with the calming lilt of a guitar as her voice ebbs and flows, until the track amounts into a murky swirl of sound. Up next, ‘Lost’ and ‘Mimind’ follow suit - their peaceful atmosphere lulling us in and initially washing over us, until we’re caught out unexpectedly, lost in a disorientating haze.

Rounding out with perhaps the most haunting moment on Lilith, ‘Mimind Reprise’ is a striking reminder that meditative music doesn’t need to be inherently serene. Instead, eerie synths blur with distant, yearning vocals and an ambiguous spoken word passage seems to caution us of something, before the soundscape reverts back to the sparse crystalline gleam of previous tracks, shining a new light on what’s come before to reveal a far more existential edge to them. Overwhelming without feeling overstated, and lush without feeling complicated, it’s a startling way to conclude the EP, that serves as a poignant acknowledgement of both sides of isolation - encapsulating the quiet tranquility alongside the brooding and agitation.

Lily was kind enough to share the stories behind each track, and the EP as a whole, below.
Lily Dee: Lilith is a conglomerate of mistakes that stuck. This creative project saw me feeling my way through the dark, smacking strokes of sound together and distorting them into something that fit my thoughts and emotions. I think it’s important to gain outside perspective, and there have been so many people who helped me put this all together and inspire me with their own creativity. The five-track release is a tapestry of violin, guitars, and synthesizers framing delicate vocal melodies. Lilith is in many ways the soundtrack to the inner reflections of a restless state of mind.


‘Intro’ was the final piece of the puzzle. I’d always wanted a smooth entry into the EP and a friend suggested that I extract this section from another track. In this way, ‘Intro’ calls forth melodic elements from later in the EP, welcoming the listener into a landscape within which the later tracks serve as landmarks. Originally, the first track in the EP was one called ‘Manic Mantra’ which is now incorporated/smooshed into ‘Mimind Reprise.’


‘Seas’ was a liberation from certain feelings about my family which I’d held too tightly for too long. My childhood was spent in the Sunshine Coast in QLD and this song pays homage to the fogginess of my youth and the sense of “coming of age” that we all continue to feel throughout our adulthood (or at least... I’m still feeling it). Reflecting this are the lyrics, “Seas cease tides stay the same. Though we're growing older now, slowly bolder now, our skin feels thicker than before and I'm living life like you do yours.”  


‘Lost’ stems from an explorative introspection with alarm-clock samples and siren synth noises. There is a sense of trying to snap into clarity and focus, and to resist being dragged into the thick mud of murky rumination. This song for me, is a cathartic journey that celebrates the shared experience of uncertainty.


‘Mimind’ was written when I felt like I was going a bit mad. I’d describe it as a weightless, warm sound-bath that whirls with lyrics. Sitting in the space between ambient and electronic genres, it then transforms to a more complex exploration of vocal melodies.

Mimind Reprise

‘Someday we'll look back in times
See our youth and walk
the corners of our young minds
Wild and free until we could not be
The world will keep spinning round
Until we've been taken to the underground

We're too old now
To be so easily taken down
Where is god
when our hearts are so soft’

Lilith is out everywhere today.