CHANGE is the highly anticipated sophomore EP from independent London-based artist, songwriter, and producer LYVES, which the alt-R&B wonder has been teasing for the past few months with songs like ‘How Would It Feel’, ‘Shame’ and title track ‘Change’ catching the attention of BBC Radio 1, The FADER, Complex, Wonderland, Notion Magazine, COLORS, Spotify, and Apple Music, along the way. Out on November 18, Lyves’ Change EP is a genre-defying masterpiece that draws inspiration from jazz, trip hop, breakbeat, UK garage, psych-rock, folk, and New Age, with its foundations rooted in alternative R&B and progressive soul. She sat down with Noctis Magazine for an interview about the new EP.
Written and produced by Lyves, with Mercury Prize nominee Dave Okumu (Amy Winehouse, Jessie Ware) co-producing the project with her, Syed Adam Jaffrey (Tom Misch, Michael Kiwanuka) on mixing, and Grammy Award winner John Greenham (Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga) mastering the project, this Change EP captures Lyves at her very best and most authentic yet. Centred around healing and transformation, the project takes the listener on a journey from loss to joy, and finding your true self in the process. As Lyves puts it, “this quote ‘Everything that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form’ from Franz Kafka comes to mind for this project”.
Crafted over the past two years, the Change EP opens with ‘21 Days’, which sees Lyves longing for a long-lost love that never returns – this song sets the tone for the rest of the EP sonically. Then comes ‘Shame’, which builds on the project’s sonic experimentation even further with its breakbeat, future garage, and retro soul fusion, and ‘The System’, an empowering ode to self-love and healing for Lyves. The EP closes out with Lyves exploring the duality of hope and its often-slippery slope into denial on ‘Blindfold’, and the title track ‘Change’, where she learns how embracing change can become a saving grace, and lead you to finding your way back to yourself.
Speaking about her inspiration behind the Change EP, Lyves says, “Creating this EP helped me navigate my way through loss to finding joy again. It captures that process for me, and by the end, there is a sense of relief and acceptance; of seeing more nuanced colours and shades in life, of deeper awareness and understanding the embedded beauty and vulnerability in all things – how they shape and change us, ultimately helping us evolve into the best of ourselves. What felt significant in making this project is that I learnt to release perfectionism and instead embrace authenticity. Through creating this EP, I felt like I found my voice again, I also stopped hiding.
On a practical level, learning to produce gave me absolute freedom, I just trust my intuition throughout the process and let that guide me. The novelty of it all allowed me to take risks and work with sounds through feeling, rather than any expertise or previous experience. I suppose it resulted in work that found its own sound and doesn’t confine to any one particular genre. It felt like creative play and through Dave’s incredible encouragement, contribution, and collaboration as a co-producer, I feel we were able to create something true and unique. The EP captures that time for me, the last two and-a-bit years. The songs hold an imprint of that time, which feels both beautiful and cathartic”.
Lyves is the amazing solo project of British-born Italian Australian singer, songwriter, and producer Francesca Bergami. Deeply inspired by music that feels raw and deeply personal, Lyves draws influences from sonic soundscapes that run the eclectic gamut, from Enya, Moby, and Philip Glass to Bill Withers, Frank Ocean, Tracy Chapman and James Blake. Despite coming to music quite “late”, having studied psychology and worked as a mental health advocate for sectioned children and adults, Lyves has been able to channel that advocacy role into her music, where she hopes to support and nurture listeners into healing, honesty, growth, and empowerment.
With over 60 million streams online and critical acclaim from global tastemakers including Rolling Stone, NME, BBC 6 Music and KEXP, Lyves is revered for her emotive lyrical themes, empowering voice, and making music that digs deep. Having taken the past two years away from the limelight to hone her craft as a producer and songwriter even further, Lyves is excited to bring listeners into this new era of her music, which feels even more raw, revealing, and free than previous works, underpinned by a fusion of genre influences, from jazz, Motown and soul to experimental electronica, folk and R&B, which has always been at the heart of what she does.
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