Welcome to the warmer side of Lily Frost.
Over the past half decade, pop-influenced singer-songwriter Lily Frost has garnered much attention for her expressive, sentimentality and viral melodies that have prompted many prominent television programs to feature her regularly. Yet, despite an innate ability to craft fetching tunes, it’s Frost’s touching lyrics on life and love that have truly won over listeners.
Still, with her latest full-length, Viridian Torch (Aporia), we are about to experience a fresh perspective on the Toronto-based chanteuse. Named in honour of a passion for nature while avoiding being mired in ecological issues, the album celebrates greenery and finds Frost in an enviable state of musical and personal cohesion.
“I feel like for the first time, everything has come together,” she beams, noting how marriage and family life has shifted her creative focus. “I’m not yearning for love. A lot of my songs in the past were about searching for it, feeling lonely, unrequited love and things like that. Now, however, I’m offering back. Not that writing from the heart about other things is vanity, but I’m not just talking about myself. I’m giving back to a place and people that gave me so much.”
Based on and influenced by her roots in and around familial land near Georgian Bay, Viridian Torch reveals much more cathartic poetry than even Frost initially considered. Still, the journey to realizing and embracing her longstanding love of the homestead was not an easy one. After five albums of personal reflection, altering her modus and subject matter away from the obviousness of love was almost terrifying.
“(Once happy,) I worried that I wouldn’t have (lyrical) fodder until I realized I should turn my focus to something I feel as strongly about that isn’t a man or some conflicted interpersonal relationship,” she admits. “I always wondered how people could write happy songs. I wanted to get out of my melancholic state of mind; beyond myself and offer something more.”
Unsurprisingly, by tapping into her new-found enchantment, Frost accomplishes a wealth of blissful tunes quite easily. And while Viridian Torch is a vast departure from her previously doleful outings, musically the album is still replete with her tender carousing she defines as, “reminiscent of 1960s France; a Serge Gainsbourg-ish non-categorical art project over straightforward pop.”
However, as happiness continually threatens to be fleeting, will Frost adhere to this sense of musical progressiveness? Does Viridian Torch reveal a vast, indelible shift towards a broader, loose focus? Assuredly, she acknowledges, but only in terms of conceptual foundations.
“What might stick now is having a conceptual vision of making records as opposed to just drawing inspiration from here and there, putting them all together and calling them a record. What is this body of work representing? What makes this distinctive from just a bunch of songs? I like having a theme to a record, though I don’t know if I’ll continue writing about nature from now on.”