Northern Irish singer-songwriter Lilla Vargen today releases her hotly anticipated new EP, We Were Thunder. Alongside this comes news that Lilla Vargen will be playing a headline show at Omeara on April 15th 2020. Tickets can be grabbed here from Monday 2nd December.
The past few months have been a whirlwind for the artist whose name translates to Little Wolf in Swedish. Currently touring Europe in support of Dermot Kennedy, Lilla Vargen released EP tracks Why Wait & Solitary in the latter part of the year to widespread acclaim, cementing herself as an artist to watch heading into 2020. We Were Thunder is an astonishingly beautiful body of work. A selection of big room pop songs showcasing Vargen’s stand out vocals and deeply personal songwriting, Vargen at once manages to be both otherworldly and relatable. With press support from the likes of The Independent, Wonderland Magazine, The Telegraph, Notion, The Line Of Best Fit and more, Lilla Vargen has quickly made an impression, and there is plenty more on the way. Speaking on We Were Thunder, Lilla Vargen states:
“We Were Thunder is about the moments of magic that live within relationships. Whilst on the surface the songs seem full of sorrow and pain, there’s also a recognition of the love that allowed us to get to that point. Writing this EP has been an emotional release, translating the feelings into lyrics and sound that summarise a crucial period of my life. These songs are me accepting that the flashes of euphoric love will always have existed, even if they ultimately were followed by heartbreak.
‘Solitary’ is about learning to live with yourself, and deciding to not accept less than you deserve, even if that comes with the price of letting go. ‘On My Mind’ has been a joy to play live on this tour so far, and showcases a more upbeat, anthemic angle to the set; despite it originally being written as a piano demo, it’s taken on a life of its own.”
Lilla grew up just outside of Ballymena, County Antrim – where her school friends were a bike ride away and her dreams of pursuing a career in music were met with scepticism and confusion. While her memories of home – a house in the middle of country fields and a community where “everybody knows everybody” – are fond ones, she’s glad she took the plunge and left for London.
Though clearly gifted on both piano and guitar, Lilla’s most beguiling quality is her songwriting – she pens stark and raw, emotive songs that have attracted millions of streams online. Songs from this project were influenced by a past relationship that Lilla realised “wasn’t healthy”, even though it was difficult to acknowledge at the time.
“I put up with a lot because when you care about somebody you can become completely oblivious,” she says. “I think that’s one of my biggest flaws but it’s also a strength because I care so deeply for my friends and for my family. That’s why the EP is called We Were Thunder… you can get completely lost in it and it feels magic, but that can go away very quickly.”
Listen to 'We Were Thunder' - BELOW:
Compared to the over-produced pop that’s dominated the charts of late, Lilla’s sound is wonderfully considered, moving at a leisurely pace with detail applied with deft strokes. Her songs feel limitless, like a landscape painting where the sea merges with the sky, but have a mature pop sheen helmed by producers Carey Willetts (Dermot Kennedy, Freya Ridings) and Darren Heelis (Sam Smith, Paloma Faith).
It’s this unique sound that caught the attention of James Bay, who hand-picked Lilla to open for him at his massive comeback show in London, in 2018 (“he’d liked my first EP and asked me to do it… it was a bit crazy,” Lilla explains). Now with the release of her new EP, she’s just trying to “be conscious and not take anything for granted”.
“At one point in everyone’s life, they want to be in a certain place,” she says. “If I’d known a couple of years ago that this is where I’d be… it’s amazing, because this is all I’ve ever wanted, and now I’m working hard to make sure I get to the next step. Because what are you going to regret more, at the end of the day? Probably the things you didn’t do.”
Lilla Vargen will be supporting Dermot Kennedy at two sold-out shows at Eventim Apollo next week. See all the upcoming dates HERE.