List of Aussie musical families keeps growing
Lily Lizotte enjoys reminding her father Mark of a famous Hunter S. Thompson quote he often shared with her as they were working in secret on her music over the past decade.
"It's my favourite one. 'The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side'," she said, laughing.
As she releases her debut EP Bleeding Buttercup under her artist pseudonym The Blossom, Lily's dad - professionally known as Diesel - wonders if he may have been a little harsh in his cautionary tales about pursuing a life as a musician.
"I don't think I've ever painted a very rosy picture but I've never been staunch in saying 'Do. Not. Do. Music'," he said.
"I say on a regular basis that everything is really fleeting and you really have to love the music because that's the only thing that's gonna pull you through. So make friends with the music."
Lily presented her first song to him when she was 14 and began working in earnest on her music about six years ago.
She began releasing her experimental pop as Lila Gold a few years ago, bouncing between her family home in Sydney and her LA base, but felt the desire to shed that artistic identity for The Blossom for her debut collection.
Her bedroom pop sound meshes her love of hip-hop fostered during the Lizotte family's sojourn in New York for several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and classic pop songwriting.
"For so long I was working in secret with my dad and collaborating with other people," she said.
"I never really said anything, I've just been grinding my teeth and sharpening my teeth and digging into all my different influences.
"Working a lot out of my bedroom and my closet and at home with dad in his studio, it felt like these songs came out of the dark so there's this cohesiveness in the EP that's all about what we do in secret, and loneliness and growing pains and this yearning.
"I think it's generational as well to create in your bedroom … people are known now as bedroom producers and there's a genre known as bedroom pop, whatever that is."
Diesel had been working in the home studio space since the mid-90s when he bought ADAT recording machines and boxes of second-hand VHS tapes from New York's famed cheap and cheerful Canal St shopping precinct.
While he was technically prepared for the role of "bedroom" producer, Lily said he provided a safe space for her to write deeply personal songs commenting on anxiety, depression and sexuality.
"A lot of friends ask me how it is writing with my dad when these conversations come up, speaking about things so personally about my sexuality, depression, anxiety, a lot of challenges I face as a young POC and queer woman," she said.
"I don't really think about it because I have always shared so closely with my dad. When we work together, we really are an extension of each other. When we are writing and recording, there really are no boundaries … and I feel so safe, there's no judgment, he's really there to facilitate my vision. And at the end of the day, I'm his child so …"
Their artistic collaboration began with a "no guitar" rule with Lily adamant she would craft her own sound without the signature presence of one of Australia's most respected guitarists.
But even that boundary gave way as they put the finishing touches to the EP's single Bored Baby Blues.
"She doesn't have to poke me so much now but at the beginning of us working together, I was 'no problem' about not doing it when she said 'no guitar!'" he said.
"As much as I am attached to the guitar, I'm equally attached to a lot of other instruments. When she finally started saying 'Play guitar' I was still a little reluctant. I did get to shred a bit on Bored Baby Blues. Got my big Japanese fuzz pedal for that, it's not polite, it blows the walls out."
Originally published as List of Aussie musical families keeps growing