The Black Lillies, ‘Ten Years’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Knoxville, Tenn.-bred Americana outfit the Black Lillies are gearing up for the release of a brand-new album this fall -- but they're giving The Boot's readers a first listen to one of its tracks. Press play above to hear "Ten Years."
Written by Black Lillies founder Cruz Contreras, the album-opening "Ten Years" is all about "how life suddenly can take you into a frightening or unknown direction," Contreras explains. He was inspired to write the song after noticing how a friend's current life experiences were similar to some of his own past "memories and challenges."
"It speaks to the past as well as the present, as we approach the 10-year anniversary of the Black Lillies’ founding," Contreras adds. "And that makes it the perfect way to open the album … There’s the familiarity of past Black Lillies work in its sound, but at the same time, it lets you know that there’s something new to come."
Career-wise, Contreras is familiar with the idea of, as the chorus of "Ten Years" says, "10 long years and one short goodbye." Just before the release of their last album, 2015's Hard to Please, two of the Black Lillies' longest-tenured members left. Since then, their lineup has shifted even more: Vocalist Trisha Gene Brady has departed, leaving Contreras, Bowman Townsend and Sam Quinn, plus their newest member, Dustin Schaefer.
The Black Lillies' new album, Stranger to Me, "is simultaneously a doorway to the future and a return to the foundations of who the Black Lillies are," Contreras tells The Boot. For the first time, the whole band contributed to the songwriting process, refining more than 30 songs they performed during weekly Facebook Live sessions into the 13-song project.
"I have never been part of a more rigorous, thorough, inspired and accountable creative process with a band," Contreras says. "Every step of the process was given total heart and effort -- not perfect, far from it, but honest and with attitude and the confidence of knowing we are so fortunate to be able do something that we truly love."
Stranger to Me was recorded at Echo Mountain in Asheville, N.C., and is due out on Sept. 28 via Thirty Tigers. In late August, the Black Lillies will begin a 16-week tour in support of the project.
Fans can visit TheBlackLillies.com for more on the band, their upcoming tour and the new album.