Lia Ices gives us another peek at her upcoming album, Ices, with the song ‘Higher.’ This track joins previously released ‘Thousand Eyes’ on Lia’s followup to 2011’s acclaimed Grown Unknown. Produced by Benny Sagittarius [the production team of Lia and her brother Eliot] and Clams Casino, listen to the track above or here on Soundcloud / YouTube.
Lia explains how the track came to be:
“My brother Eliot and I had a fireplace in our music studio, and during the long Hudson Valley Winter, we would start a fire in the morning and keep it going all day. There’s something strangely perfect and simple about making a fire in the place where you also are creative — writing music can be totally strange and nonlinear and spiritual, and taking moments away to stare into flames can feel like a total brain massage (heard once that an adult’s fascination with fire is a direct consequence of not having mastered it as a child.) So we were in our spaceship in the snow, stoking that fire highly caffeinated and ‘Higher’ kind of felt like it fell down from the sky.
Some songs feel like they take a long time to be born, but not this one. We started with the progression on those tropical keys, and after looping that Eliot started riffing on the electric guitar and came up with the main hook within the first 20 minutes. I knew right away there was something about that line; just the right blend of satisfying and strange. From there, we thought we might want to hear it on an Asian dulcimer sounding string instrument, so we found this Persian santur sample and put that in. It went on and on like this, each new sound inspiring the next. We were on our own strange psychic sibling trip.
On that next Saturday night (I only recorded vocals late on Saturday nights for this album) I wrote the vocal parts and melodies. I was feeling fearless. I kept following this genuine sense of feeling free and returned to a much more childlike state – not taking myself so seriously and reacting in the moment. I also wanted my lyrics and delivery to embody the playfulness we found in the music; I ended up having a lot of fun with how I conveyed my desire, femininity, and strength in this song. It was important for me to express all of the layers I was uncovering – to be simultaneously flirtatious/spiritual, childlike/powerful.
Fast forward 5 months later to our springtime glass box in the sky production studio at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. We had worked with Clams Casino on a few other tracks and were really vibing so we thought we’d see if there was anything else we could do with ‘Higher’. We brought up our demo which had some basic beats, but Clams came up with the big tom drum patterns you hear during the verses, the massive subs, and some rad alternate beats in the chorus. Our process with him had the same easy environment Eliot and I had established, and he dove right in — there was no pressure or expectation of what should or shouldn’t be in there, we just had to love it. I remember dancing around our hotel room during that session with Clams, so excited that we could make music I wanted to dance to.”