Lillie West knows that sometimes you have to look back to move forward. West, who records as Lala Lala on SubPop imprint Hardly Art, has, in her music, confronted the kind of trauma that can inspire self-destruction or, hopefully, self-reflection: a home invasion and subsequent paranoia; toxic relationships; battles with addiction; and the deaths of several close friends, to name a few.
On “Siren 042,” the Chicago-based singer-songwriter collaborates with WHY? founder Yoni Wolf to examine the guilt that trickles in after ignoring your better judgment — the particular sensation of seeing problems or hazards on the horizon but proceeding anyway. “There was a siren ringing in my head,” sings West on the chorus. “But I wasn’t listening, so I did what I did.”
The track follows West’s 2018 sophomore release The Lamb, and, like much of that album, displays her ability to offset sharp lyricism with shimmering guitar and singalong-worthy vocal refrains. The video, directed by Scott Fredette, features West and Wolf fleeing an eerily empty town on foot, glancing back every few seconds for followers. Maybe sometimes it’s not the past that’s trying to catch up with you, it’s just that you keep looking back.
“Siren 042” is out Jan 11 via Hardly Art and Run for Cover.