Monday, August 23, 2010

Songs of the Moment 8/23/10 - Tribute to Lydia

If you're reading this, it's probable that in the past three months you've seen me talk about a little band called Lydia somewhere in my facebook status posts. My goal here is to tell you guys what's been going on with them and also to convince you of just how amazing they are. This isn't just another band I'm into...this is the band I've been thoroughly obsessed with for a good three months now, which is the time since I first heard their bad news. I guess I'll start at the beginning of my experience with them.

I first found Lydia, a seven-year-old band from Arizona, just before this past Christmas and got their second album as a Christmas gift. I gave it quite a few listens, but never really caught on to any particular songs. At that time it was just another album that I could pick up again when other tunes didn't seem too interesting. It stayed that way until June. Mid-June, I found out that Lydia had lost their second female vocalist/keyboardist, Mindy White, who left to start her own musical project called "States" with two former members of the band Copeland (I'm a huge fan of hers). Lydia had also lost their bassist, leaving a crippled, half-Lydia behind. Just about a week after I did all of this research, Leighton (the lead singer) announced that after a final album (without Mindy) and a farewell tour across the nation, Lydia would disband forever. Soon after, in the middle of the tour, Lydia lost their lead guitarist, further saddening the end of Lydia. Despite my lack of true passion for them at the time, this news made me quite upset. When I frantically scrolled through the listed tour dates, I found SLC included in the final week of the tour. I promised myself that day I would do everything I could to be there.

Here I am now, that concert was last Friday, August 20th, THE best day of my entire summer. After their last concert this Saturday, they are gone. I feel that I can truly say to you right now that Lydia is my favorite band. I want so badly to share a bit of them with you, so here you go: a history of Lydia. Out of these ten amazing songs are 2 from the first album, called This December; It's One More and I'm Free, 6 from the second (Illuminate), and 2 from the very recently released third titled Assailants. Enjoy.

1. It's In Your Blood
"The sun is up and taking back all the shadows that covered this ground."
As soon as I heard the bad news, I started looking up stuff from Lydia's first album, which is very hard to get a hold of, but thankfully included on YouTube in it's entirety. This is the first one I came across in that search and I'd say this is the song that finally started up my full realization of how beautiful Lydia's stuff really is. Check it out! (oh and this is not Mindy in the background. It's their first vocalist Maria Sais De Sicilia, who has an equally beautiful voice.)

2. A Camera Lens and Careful Days
"I thought I showed you the reason that all I truly want is to get in your head and steal your imagery. "
This song didn't really catch my attention until they played it at the concert. I actually think it was much better live than in this recording, even though there were no female vocals at the concert. It was while they were playing this song that Leighton became one of my greatest heroes. That guy is too cool for words.

3. This Is Twice Now
"The whole world is still on my string."
This one's the biggie right here. Search on Lydia's myspace and you'll see that this song has just short of 2 million plays. Throughout the concert, fans were shouting "This Is Twice Now" as a request. It was the final song Lydia played in their encore. I've enjoyed it so much more after that experience. Whatever you do, don't miss this one.

4. All I See
"You will never waste my time."
This is my personal favorite Lydia song, the best of the best. I listened to this song a ton after I had heard about the split-up, and I was disappointed that they didn't play it at the concert. Still, twenty years down the line when I remember the end of Lydia, I know this will be the song that comes to mind.

5. I Woke Up Near The Sea
"And so I woke up near the sea, sailing in my dreams."
This song is super empowering for me. I clearly recall the excitement I felt when I belted the lyrics out at the concert. It's the first song I ever heard from Lydia and the one that encouraged me to start looking into them. (***This song does have a not-easily discernable swear word in it, but if you don't like that stuff, I still encourage you to catch the first minute of it to check out what the band looks like, especially because this is the only actual music video they ever recorded...oh, and isn't Mindy gorgeous!?)

6. Now The One You Once Loved is Leaving
"How quick to forget we are."
This is the only Mindy-led Lydia song, and it was a big disappointment to know there was no chance of catching this one live. Starting at around 2:30 (in the song), this tune is the ultimate example of the beauty in Lydia's sound. Mindy's every note is so perfect. There is simply nothing that can capture me quite like those few minutes of music. Don't miss it.

7. A Fine Evening For A Rogue
"Don't you ever get lonely?"
I distinctly remember this tune at the concert. Leighton left his voice out of almost every chorus so that the crowd could sing it out loud, which was the most memorable moment of the night. (By the way, he said that we, the SLC crowd, was their biggest audience out of every show they had in the nation this summer. He also assured us that he wasn't just saying that to make us feel good about ourselves. How awesome is that!?) I really wish you all could have been there to witness it.

8. Stay Awake
"Live it up."
I feel this one best shows off Leighton's voice. The passion he put into his performance was super inspirational and extra noticeable in this song. He looked so happy throughout this song (oh I've got videos of almost every song in the concert if you want to hit me up one day).

9. Assailants
"I can't seem to kill my assailants. They keep changing faces."
In a way, Lydia's latest album wasn't as good as the other two. It didn't have Mindy in it at all and only featured five full-length songs including this fantastic title track, which I find neatly describes the end of Lydia. Still, these tunes form an excellent farewell gift to Lydia fans across the nation. In Leighton's opinion, it was the perfect way to fulfill the potential of Lydia's unique sound. Thankfully, he has told his fans that he is definitely going to move on to other musical projects. If he ever starts anything else up, I'll let you guys know. Long live Leighton!

10. We Clean Up So Well
"I love what I am seeing."
This is the song that Lydia opened with, the perfect way to pump up the crowd. This has got to be my favorite from the latest album. It's chorus is definitely the one I love singing along to the most. (***This one has a single, but very clear swear word at 0:49. The rest of the song is clean.)
So there you go, tell me what you think! As Lydia ends it's highly acclaimed farewell tour and leaves their wonderful music behind for us to remember them by, so too will I end the majority of my Lydia hype and leave a bit of their memory in this post. At the end of Leighton's unfortunate announcement on the Lydia Myspace page, he thanks his fans, ending his lengthy post with these words: "You truly have affected my life in ways you will never know." Right now I want to flip that statement right back at him and the rest of the Lydia crew. Lydia, you truly have affected my life in ways you will never know. I won't ever forget you Lydia. Farewell.