Bleecker St. is Back
Greenwich Village has a rich musical history, with bards playing for pennies in its many rock clubs and coffeehouses. It is from this cloth which LiliAna Rose’s sturdy and enveloping folk rock hails. With wit of a poet, the soul of a troubadour, and the voice of an ingénue, LiliAna Rose has captivated an international audience stretching from New York City all the way to Japan.
Raised by a postman and a poet in the suburbs outside of New York City, LiliAna was born into what she lovingly dubs “a house full of noise. My grandfather was often over playing Italian folk songs on accordion, my dad was endlessly playing the guitar, mom was harmonizing, uncles brought harmonicas…that sort of thing.” LiliAna Rose’s songwriting resonates with this sense of community and timelessness, but her warm honey vocals are ever so informed by the present.
The mystical elements of songwriting intoxicated LiliAna when she first discovered Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” in her father’s record collection at age 8. Suddenly she was fascinated with words and she went looking for them in Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” Neil Young’s “Harvest,” and beyond. Having studied literature and politics at university, her own brand of neo-folk is informed by the writing of Edith Wharton and other early American novels of Old New York. It is no accident that her large fan base listens with rapture not only to the lilting melody of LiliAna’s voice but also to the words which she sings—she means business and it’s been a while since radio-ready music has meant the same kind.
LiliAna wrote much of her first record, “Postage Stamp,” during a year abroad in London, England. Her music is rife with cross-cultural and geographical references to her European travels, and her acoustic sound is sprinkled with a similar mix of American folk and British rock. Critics have christened LiliAna Rose “the next Joan Baez,” due to her popular folk covers on Youtube, but she is interested in being authentically herself. “Joan is still putting out amazing records, so you can’t really be the next when the first is still around,” she wisecracks with a crooked smile. “Needless to say, Joan Baez is a huge idol. But I’m just being myself, and the sounds that seem organic to me aren’t necessarily second-nature to most people my age. I’ve always sounded this way, and there’s no sense stopping now.” Indeed, she has just begun.
Many believe LiliAna’s music will help usher in a folk revival in a world dizzy with political and economic upheaval. Her honest, open songwriting has been described as “magical, literary, and emotional” and “truly visionary…an old soul documenting a new world” by a growing fanbase of thousands. LiliAna’s influences include Joan Baez, June Carter Cash, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Conor Oberst, and Ryan Adams. You can find her music on youtube at youtube.com/Lma2130.