Acoustic Duo, Lilo’s Wall, Release Debut EP ‘Rowan’
May 14, 2015
Helen Dixon and Christie Gardner are the singing, strumming, harmonising duo, Lilo’s Wall from Winchester in Hampshire. This week saw the pre-order release of their long awaited debut EP ‘Rowan’. The wonderful four track offering is a lyrical adventure through the bright and breezy ‘All My Life’, with harmonies sweet as sugar and a country infusion served delightfully with a side order of lap steel. ‘Waiting’ is a heartfelt string driven piece with a nostalgic, cinematic feel, delicately delivered on a wind of lilting haunting notes. At 17, both Helen and Christie really know their craft and whilst the songs maintain a certain innocence they also feel wise, thoughtful and honest. Stand out track ‘Tell Me’ feels like a solid single and could soundtrack a summer of warm evenings, festivals and road trips.
The production is tight but not overcrowded, giving the songs room to breathe while decorating the tracks with considered instrumental parts that really bring them to life while complimenting the coupling of the girls vocals well. This work comes out of small-town studio, Quay West, based in Gosport, Hampshire. The studio also run a young label under the same name that counts Lilo’s Wall as a new addition to the roster. The studio directors are responsible for rising local festivals Springtide (2014 saw the likes of The Family Rain, Dolomite Minor and Eliza And The Bear with this year hosting To Kill A King, Racing Glaciers and VANT) and Wickham Festival which now in it’s fourth year will host The Procalimers, Billy Bragg, 10CC and Seth Lakeman in the summer. It will be a joy to see Lilo’s Wall take this collection of tracks and hopefully more to festival stages around the country, surely to be met with appreciation.
I was fortunate enough to visit Helen and Christie in the studio during the making of the record and shoot some portraits. Matt Mears of MP Visual Media was on hand at the shoot to capture this video while we made the images.
I shot using my Rolleiflex 2.8 Planar with a mix of Kodak TriX for black and white, lit with continuous Arri cinema lights and Kodak Portra for daylight colour. Helen and Christie are charming and genuine with an organic approach to their music while remaining humble and grounded. I really wish them great things for the year ahead and ‘Rowan’ which is deserved of applause that is far reaching, beyond their Shire.