Camille (she) and Robin (he), the brother-sister duo of Lyons, France, have been gradually emerging since about 2014. Their sound is folksy, minimalist, and very unique. Listen to the subtle flowing forwards and backwards of the ambient sounds intermingled with the light guitar and keys, giving Camille a few minutes of your time to become comfortable with her vocal delivery, and you will likely be interested in more.
THE SOUND: An EP of 2014 (Memories of a Blind Mind) introduced Camille and Robin with minimalist music, organic sounds rustling amongst naturalistic guitar and rthymic keys, and the unique voice of the singer Camille. And just a few notes later, it’s clear there is a special craft developing, while one still senses a potential impending in this folk singers’ unusual singing style. Even when quietly understated, the edginess of Camille’s voice is unquestionably razor sharp, and listening to her sends me thinking of other possibilities. Something in her delivery reminded me of classic Patty Smith of decades ago, and imagining a “rock song” treatment from the duo is tempting, having a sense that lurking just on the edge of an explosion into full emotion and manifestation is a strikingly powerful voice, still shy of how electric, stormy, and chill-inducing it would be if Camille were fully unleashed vocally. Naturally, this kind of vocal power would be best served up as carefully self-controlled as possible, and so, perhaps it’s better waited for. I look forward to seeing if such a direction ever emerges in the future. These are young siblings, both very early 20’s, so there is still plenty of time to enjoy the tentative and softer (yet still razory) minimalist folk singing of the present.
THE VIEW: Watching the early performing style (2014/2015) compared to their current style (2016/2017), led me to immediately note that Camy had either been strongly influenced just prior to 2016 by the body/gesture movements and artistic intensity of movement of another artist who emerged at about the same time of the same age group, AURORA (Aurora Aksnes) of Norway. If I were not already familiar with AURORA I may never had noticed or known that the very particular gesturing style seems to have originated with the Norwegian (although it could be there is another influence beyond it that she was also influenced by… possibly going way back… to Kate Bush, perhaps?). So, has the style been taken on by Camille in current performances and videos by way of AURORA inspiration? Or has it synchronistically co-emerged amongst the two, and/or other European folksy singers during the same two or three year time period? The style is mainly characterized by a graceful sort of hand and arm gesturing, as well as swaying body movements, in an almost yoga-like dance-in-place. When I saw Camille’s “SOFAR” performance I recognized these movements (and even a similar dressing style and hairstyle to early AURORA – but colored differently) immediately, having had already watched the many hundreds of videos previously posted of Aurora Aksnes in performance since 2014 during her own emergence on the music scene (Aurora has since changed her hairstyle, but has maintained a blonde to “grey-white” coloring thusfar).
Nevertheless, back to BLACK LILYS!
The bandcamp blurb self-describes “The Black Lilys are not just an encounter, they are an evidence. Much more than just a duo, it’s two siblings that experienced in live already much more than young people their age. But no matter of the difficulties of life, they spread their joy of living. ”
Black Lilys in 2014:
Black lilys SOFAR appearance in 2016:
As a point of interest and comparison here is Aurora’s SOFAR performance of Dec 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_aGNXsYenU
BLACK LILYS 2017
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I will continue to follow Black Lilys! Join me and check back periodically for an update!