Premiere: A Lily – Like Rising Smoke


The project of Phantom Limb boss James Vella makes a return R$N offshoot Bytes for a new LP.

“If we were young we’d rise and dance,” murmured Cyn as she surveyed the scene from up on the hill. The police had broken up the party, not so much with violence but with the threat of it. All of the fires had been extinguished and smoke was rising in languid plumes as the sun rose over the valley. Most of the ravers had immediately scarpered, probably back to their comfortable middle-class existences to do hot knives in their parents’ garage while listening to the latest Fantasia mixtape. But for Cyn and her friends, this was a way of life. They had no place to go but to push on to the next site, the next party. “If we were young we’d rise and dance,” she said again, louder this time so everyone who was still with her could hear. “We are young,” said Boothy. “Let’s go.”


Nocturne Thunder is a cousin to A Lily’s acclaimed 2020 album Sleep Through The Storm. As with its progenitor, the songs – including ‘Like Rising Smoke’, which is premiering on Ransom Note today – were mostly built live, looping and layering a single performance, pushing repetition and patterns. Exploratory, cellular variations on a theme, beautiful, lyrical songs that say something without lyrics.

Whereas Sleep Through the Storm dealt with themes of loneliness in surviving the demands of a challenging world, Nocturne Thunder relates to unifying to overcome them – dancing through the night, together, in abandon and defiance of all that seeks to crush us. It was inspired by 90s New York Rave culture, especially Antenne Books’ collection of flyers from the era.


Nocturne Thunder is released digitally on 15th July via Bytes.