Lydia has a two-part video adventure for fans as it prepares for the July 13 release of its seventh album, Liquor.
The arty pop troupe starts with a clip for the opening track “Sunlight,” premiering exclusively below, for which director Adam VillaSenor cops a slightly unsettling Wes Anderson-style pastiche about a couple in the midst of a love-hate relationship that occasionally turns violent — in contrast to the track’s cheerful melodic countenance. The follow-up clip for the track, “Let It Cover Me Up,” will tell more of the tale.
“It’s kind of like a long short story,” Lydia frontman Leighton Antelman tells Billboard. “We’ve never done anything like that before, but I think Adam did a really good job with it.” The song itself, Antelman adds, “kind of came about as an accident. We were just flipping through different tracks that we had been messing around with over the course of two years and that one was kind of the most put together from the start. We didn’t’ really do much to it. It’s just a light-hearted track that kind of came together — although the video puts kind of a dark spin on it. I just like to let people take whatever they want to take from the songs, y’know?”
The Liquor album, meanwhile, is the product of considerable effort on the part of Antelman and bandmates Matt Keller and Shawn Strader. Work began on the set after the group came off the road from promoting 2015’s Run Wild, working separately in their own home studios and also convening for a session at California’s Big Bear Lake that yielded three songs for the album. “For this one we took more time, over the span of maybe two years” Antelman explains. “We didn’t seem to rush it as much as some of the other albums have been. Some of the songs feel like we’ve had them forever, but they seem to be pretty cohesive for taking that long of a time to record.”
Produced by the band and, on about half the album, Eric Palmquist, Liquor marks Lydia’s first release for a label (Weekday Records) in a decade. It also features singer Lauren Ruth Ward on the track “Red Lights.” “I don’t know if we really have anything we’re trying to prove with it by any standard,” Antelman says. “We’d write music regardless of if we were putting out a record, I think.” But he feels like the time Lydia put into Liquor made for a smoother listen in the end.
“Just how the songs morphed into different versions of themselves was pretty cool,” Antelman says. “The way a lot of the tracks on the record started out, you wouldn’t recognize them now. That’s because we had a bunch of time. We’re kind of tinkerers, so we like to mess with things a bit, regardless. At some point someone has to say, ‘OK, it’s time to stop tinkering with it, let’s put it down.’ But when we did that, they were always different, and usually better, than what we started with.”