by: Doc Jeffurious Higgason
Artist: Lily Locksmith
Album: 45rpm 7″ Single ‘Player’ b/w ‘No Use But O’Well’
Label: Enviken Records
You take the average American somebody and ask them to name a few things associated with the very proud and noble country of Sweden, most of the time their answers will be very generalized and textbook-ish. Yes, they will normally bring up the meatballs or those chewy little candy fish. They can also tell you that it’s the birthplace of the world’s most favorite furniture monger, IKEA and sputter a few quotes from that puppet chef. All-in-all in those, well honestly few moments, it feels like we have been very unfair to Sweden.
One thing that isn’t usually touched upon is the fact that behind the United States and the United Kingdom, Sweden falls squarely into third place as being one of the biggest exporters of music worldwide. Think of ABBA…or don’t. Think of Ace of Base…ok, really the individual contributions aren’t exactly what we are tallying up here, just the overall Swedish vibe cast across the world. How about The Cardigans? Does that do anything for you? Yeah, NO? Dammit.
Inside of Sweden exists a tenacious subculture that embraces the fashion and music of the American 1950’s and 1960’s. It is known as “Raggare” a lifestyle that exists across Europe into parts of Asian as well. It would and can be described as a living homage to that time with a flaunted love of fast ass cars, vintage American pop sensibilities and the lovely, raucous sound of Rockabilly music.
Out of that movement most recently has sprung forth the classic twangy, R & B sound and bold vocal styling of one, Lily Locksmith. This girl from the “heart of Sweden” exudes soul-felt talent and can at times invoke spirits from that particular time in the past.
Her latest single Player, available now from Enviken Records, is a cover of the Nick Curran and The Nitelifes tune. On it, Lily unleashes a fitting tribute to the late Curran in a song that has a very familiar gallop of Little Richard with the chesty attitude of Big Mama Thornton; she sings about how she is tired of her man’s overly cavalier approach to love and how he “treats her like a clown”. Her heartache comes out as straight up rhythm and blues sass, it’s quite clear that she is ready to pull out a chain and thrash this man who dares to treat her so.
On the flipside of Player is the song No Use But O’Well, which is admittedly this writer’s favorite. What could be called a “jump blues” number, this bewitching bright B-side is everything that defines the term “hot”. A steady back beat, wide opening vocals and quick, stabby and licky guitar work…this can’t be 2017, right? Where are all the electronic bleeps, farts and whistles?
I am romanticizing of course. The world, though bloated with hate and mediocrity always has room for a tiny bit of romance. Especially for a time and place in the world that ultimately led up to a cultural explosion that was experienced around the world, music has always been that unspoken universal language. Lily Locksmith and her band have a way of lighting up that corner of time that many believe was closed forever.
You can check out a digital copy of Lily Locksmith’s single Player by heading over to www.envikenrecords.com. While you are there why not look into the beautiful, limited edition red vinyl version of the record? There are only 500 so might as well grab a few, right? Also, both Player and No Use But O’Well have lovely music videos that accompany them and are available on the Enviken Records’ YouTube channel. Lily Locksmith is everywhere, if you miss her it’s your own damned fault.