Next month, Artist To Watch Lala Lala is releasing a new album, I Want The Door To Open, the follow-up to 2018’s The Lamb. We’ve heard “DIVER” and “Color Of The Pool” from it already and today we’re getting another single, the subtle and spacey “Prove It.” “They think you’re a fantasy/ Doesn’t mean that much to me,” Lillie West sings on it. “Living like you’re on the screen/ I’m looking for the real, real thing.”
“‘Prove It’ is a song about insatiable people and the idea of ‘good’ vs ‘bad,’” she said in a statement. “It’s about lack of control. Even though this song is accusatory, I relate to the person I’m talking to. I think sometimes when we criticize other people we’re also talking about ourselves.”
Hanif Abdurraqib has written an essay about I Want The Door To Open, which you can read here:
What I crave, what I have always craved, is a collection of songs that make me feel like they are surrounding me in preparation for a season. Not a good season or a bad season, but a season that I can identify as both. This, I’m sure, has to do with me being a product of the Midwest. Where, at least for now, there are still distinct and palpable shifts from month to month, almost as markers of time.
I think it is the amount of voices on I Want The Door To Open that make me feel comforted, encased, prepared for that moment I know so well where the warmth fades and the darkness comes a little earlier and then, abruptly, a lot earlier. And I don’t mean voices as in different people, I simply mean the multitudinous nature of the choir of sound that one voice can offer. Take, for example, the end of ‘Diver,’ a song that swells and swells until it fades, leaving behind only the residue of voices that echo until the song’s exit, fading right into “Photo Photo,” where the same bursts of choir reappear as the song’s spine.
I’m saying I like an album that might make me feel less alone, the kind of alone that many of us became acquainted with in newer and sharper ways in the early darkness of the past year, and that some of us might be revisiting in the early darkness of the fall, and the winter, and beyond. I Want The Door To Open is an album that is immense, though not particularly loud. Its volume is in its tenderness, thoughtful arrangements, and elements of surprise, the things that leap out at you when you think you are hearing one song that becomes another song in its final act, a trick this album pulls off alarmingly well, every time. Take, for example, the pulsing heartbeat in ‘Color Of The Pool’ that gives way, right at the last minute, to a fluorescent blooming of horns. “It’s a magic trick, in a way. Making these songs that are not often long in minutes in seconds feel like mini-suites. Like rooms you don’t want to leave.
Speaking of a room I don’t want to leave, I firmly believe that I have maybe given up and given in for good. The inside is where I wanna be whenever the fragile ecosystem we’re all tumbling forward in starts to go south again. And if that is going to be the case, then I require albums that are generous enough to make the inside feel like the outside. An album that feels like a gathering, like a warmth creeping in through a window, no matter the weather. An album that feels like a park, bursting with friends and strangers, shouts and laments. I think this is the one for all of my internal and external joys, sadnesses, anxieties, and the small survivals that open up the door to all of the larger survivals to come.
I Want The Door To Open is out 10/8 via Hardly Art. Pre-order it here.