Single of the week: Fenne Lily – Solipsism review

by Philip Moss

On previous single, Berlin, Bristol based songwriter, Fenne Lily, recalled the enigma of Nico – a song both soothing and calm, it displayed a folk teller’s gift for combining the melancholic with that strange ability to wrap you up in its spell, and at the same time brighten your day.

But Solipsism is a different beast. Berlin‘s clean, gentle chords and Lily’s breathy voice are replaced – with the involvement of Steve Albini (Nirvana, Songs: Ohia, Pixies) being truly felt through its gnarly bite of lo-fi guitars. But while the song’s feel shows a different side to Lily – think the sizzle of Snail Mail’s debut, Lush, or the slacker-tude of a Stephen Malkmus’ composition – it is the arrangement that is most impressive. ‘The solipsism keeps me wide awake,’ Lily sings, as the song drops before its unexpected chorus melody kicks in. And this discomfort is metaphorically replicated by the way the song twists and turns through its structure of disconcerting interludes of keyboards and guitar breaks. Even the decision for the top line melody to be provided on bass seems an unusual call, but, like the rest of Solipsism, the 21 year old’s astute ear is spot on. Solipsism, and Lily alike, are an enigma all of their on.

Fenne Lily’s second album, BREACH, is out on 18th September through Dead Oceans.

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