Barefoot and lucid. Cups of tea before dawn. A pair of identical red guitars are resting on a pile of tulle and silk and white cotton in the background, while Lydia Fairhall (vox/guitar) reaches for the mic and tells the story of her heart and her people, tearing through a set of some of her most accomplished and refined songs.
This is the inner world of TigerLilly, a contemporary folk-pop story telling duo emerging from one of the country’s best hubs of bush dwelling, half cracked creatives. Formed in 2013 in the idyllic hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, this band is fast becoming ‘one to watch’ – armed with a striking new self – titled EP out now through Queensland’s only Indigenous owned and run record label Impossible Odds.
The heart of the band beats within singer and songwriter Lydia Fairhall. With a solid fifteen year career in various ensembles behind her, Lydia has played to audiences from the red sands of the central desert to some of New York’s most seedy and crowded bars.
After spending the better part of the last few years submerged in the world of producing dance and theatre, the chance to refresh her career as a formidable music artist couldn’t have come at a better time.
Joining her is veteran keys player and vocalist in her own right, Kali Blunt, a tiny force of intelligence and exceptional musicality taken out on a hammond organ and explored through her poignant harmonies. Describing the songs on the EP as “…gentle, earth loving sounds with edge and a smarm of grit” Lydia explains that at this stage in my musical life I have an urgency and hunger for writing like never before.
“It feels like if I don’t get some of these songs out of me they will be bound to me and lost to the world forever,” Lydia explains. “They pop in and out of my existence; some songs are faint whispers and others are loud, stomping, demanding stories. And I’m not sure where they go when they disappear but I do feel an obligation to give life to them, to plant the seeds and leave the rest up to The Universe and my band mate and the wonderful team of business and creative minds that I am able to work with to release them from my own spirit. And in doing so, each time I become lighter and more free and more aligned with my true self.”
Deeply personal, the songs that make up the debut EP also deliver an inherently powerful message.
“I don’t necessarily follow a political narrative in my work. I am more interested in the stories of my family and community and love and death and birth. Each of these things are inherently political; we both shape and are shaped by our colonial and Aboriginal histories. And I acknowledge the suffering- every day is a battle to free myself from it. But in that acknowledgement I refuse to be a victim. No one has jurisdiction over me. I am free to choose my own response to the legacy of trauma my family has inherited.”
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