On Brendan Whitney's latest release as Alias, he's brought in kid brother Ehren to collaborate, and together they have produced an album that is lush and ethereal with a dream-like groove. Wide spaces of silence separate the tracks, giving a feeling of moving from one dream to another.
The songs on Lillian are largely instrumental, with the
only vocals heavily distorted samples. Drum loops provide a grounding
backbeat on many tracks, including the opening track "Eman Ruosis Iht"
("This is our name" backwards). Erhen brings in a distinct eastern
influence with flute and clarinet on "Most Important Things" and
others, and he winds his sax through a framework of samples on the
A pair of minute-long tracks, "Sunfuzz" and "Moonfuzz," give
atmospheric vignettes relating to their respective heavenly bodies.
"Sunfuzz" brings to mind a hot afternoon, vibrant and bright, with a
shimmer like heating rising from baked pavement. "Moonfuzz" has a cool,
quiet feel and conjures up a late night walk around a dark lake with a
cool wind coming off the water.
A hidden track at the end of "Netting Applause" comes as a bit of a
shock after the dreaminess of the previous 13 tracks; it's a scratchy
distorted piano with an unaltered sax accompaniment, giving the
impression of someone playing along with an old record of old west
saloon music. It adds a bit of a surreal (though lovely) aspect to the
album, just like any dream has.