TWH: All the way from the bitter Pennsylvanian winter, KIM FIELDS sheds some light on The Stargazer Lilies’ iconic sound. From dreampop shoegaze to fuzzed-up psych, the Lilies create record after record that sweeps you away.
Thanks Kim for joining The Witching Hours this week (via email) + if you’d like to check out her curated playlist, and a sneak-preview of a brand new Stargazer Lilies track, “LA Day,” click here.
TWH: Before Stargazer, there was Soundpool. We are now blessed with the manifestation of The Stargazer Lilies, are there any fun tales of its birth?
KIM: I’m not sure if the transfer was fun. It was death and rebirth. It was hard to let go of Soundpool and our dear friends. But having a 5 piece band isn’t easy or economical. We needed to have a creative experience that was more intimate and manageable. The whole process of a band is so challenging. It’s been a lot easier with 2 people in the studio and guest musicians/tour companions for the road.
TWH: Your latest album, Occabot, was one of my favorite releases of 2019. What was it like working with TOBACCO? How do you feel his producing style added to your distinct sound?
KIM: Working with Tobacco was an absolute dream. He’s a very close friend of ours. He’s just so super chill and real and knows us really well so it was just completely natural. We have so much respect for him as a human and an artist. We love what he added to our sound and we were just really wanting to experiment. He took those songs to the next level. It was just an experience of total trust. Felt perfect.
TWH: Your most recent Live Stream, Live at Sherman Theater, released on the Solstice (Dec. 21, 2020). Can we expect any other celestial alignments for the Equinox or Summer Solstice perhaps?
KIM: We’re actually working really diligently on a new TSL album but also the first Soundpool release since 2010….
TWH: That is extremely exciting !! Do you feel a particular inspiration to harness the shifting of the seasons, either in writing or performing? When do you feel most inspired to write and create?
KIM: We are always writing. This past year has been challenging of course. Winter is actually harder to get things done because we live in Pennsylvania and our studio is downstairs on ground level. So it just never feels warm enough to spend lots of time down there. Plus seasonal depression. But we try to write as much as possible year round. No releases are planned at this point… Just in the works.
TWH: As you write music in times of quarantine, are you noting any major differences in style or theme? Do you feel these changes have altered the sound of The Stargazer Lilies in any way, and if so, permanently? Or transient?
KIM: Honestly, We’re just trying to find ourselves in these times. We’ve all been changed for good. We, personally haven’t had the luxury of being in quarantine. It’s been a bitter reality. The fight to get through that bitterness is pushing us harder creatively and psychologically. It’s been a brutal year emotionally and physically. But, we’re not on constant tour, which means more time in the studio. Just trying to write what we feel and hope and let ourselves mourn through the process of what has happened.. Hopefully we create some songs that make us and other people feel good. I think that’s the biggest thing of an altered sound experience. We just want to feel good. We don’t want to be the sad sack band anymore. Even though life can be pretty sad. We want to find the celebration through the hard reality. Also, for the first time we are collaborating with a drummer. It’s all happening long distance as Cari Gee has been playing with us the last couple of years and she’s just this killer drummer who is passionate and lives in Austin, Tx. One of our homes away from home. Feels natural. It’s fun. The recording process has definitely taken a turn and we’re in to experimenting. Cari’s boyfriend Jake Stuart also joined us on additional guitar for our Live Stream concert and he was a dream to work with. Just such a cool guy and so ultra talented. We’re in to the collaboration.
TWH: I noticed that Stargazer Lilies bloom in Mid-Summer. A few of your albums have released around that time as well. Coincidence? Or Astral Alignment?
KIM: We are all about space and earth and the experience. I personally work each day meditating, reading, writing, dancing etc. trying to be more in tune. The Universe, the cosmos, nature are amazing. We can learn a lot from observing. I don’t think a lot of people understand that they are intimately involved and also responsible for the way this goes. Holding on to that purity is not easy, it’s so quick to get lost in the struggle of existence. We live in a really hard and shocking atmosphere.
TWH: What is your second favorite type of Lily flower, after Stargazer of course?
KIM: All of them… But I’m pretty sentimental and my favorite childhood scents came from my parent’s gardens who just came from that generation of farmers who had the right conditions and knew how to do it in Idaho… We had amazing plants…. Roses, Lilac, Iris and Marigold are my favorite flowers from childhood to this day. I was gifted with an incredible garden and every kind of tree… I drifted as an innocent lazy lost soul in a world in between raspberry bushes and climbing cherry and apricot trees while staring at the sky, examining the molecules in the air, playing with my toy monkeys instead of dolls and chewing on grass. My love of flowers is deep as is my love of the natural world. I care so much about it that it hurts. I always have. We chose the Stargazer Lilies because of the name. Our friend gifted us a bouquet and we were like, whoa! Amazing scent and flower… what is it? And that’s how our name and band began.
My Fav Quote:
The Universe, the cosmos, nature are amazing. We can learn a lot from observing. I don’t think a lot of people understand that they are intimately involved and also responsible for the way this goes. Holding on to that purity is not easy, it’s so quick to get lost in the struggle of existence. We live in a really hard and shocking atmosphere. KIM FIELDS
Interview By: Marina of The Witching Hours