After releasing her third studio album “Ices” in 2014, singer-songwriter Lia Ices, returns to Toronto for NXNE. With summer just around the corner, “Ices” is the perfect album to listen to on a lovely summer day. Ices has previously worked with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and had her song “Love Is Won” featured on HBO’s Girls. “Ices” demonstrates exactly why Lia Ices is an artist to “watch out for”.
She played the MOD Club during NXNE on June 19 with Aidan Knight and prior to her performance, The Xtra Mile chatted with Ices about music and future plans.
Where does the name “Ices” originate from?
It’s actually from my favourite Bob Dylan song, “Isis”, which is spelled differently. I’m still obsessed with him, I’ll always be obsessed. I was really infatuated with this idea of Bob Dylan‘s perfect woman, so I took that.
You were last here in January at The Drake Underground, and now you’re here for NXNE and you’re apart of the NXNE advance series, how do you feel?
I’m excited! I’ve always had the best time in Toronto. Honestly, I love the crowds here, I love the city. So whenever I come here, I’m really excited to play for people here. It just feels like there’s a lot of momentum every time I come here. It’s really fun.
A lot of our readers love hearing about new artists. Why should people listen to you?
Here’s the self-promotion. This is my third album, I just put it out in September, it’s quite different from the ones I’ve done previously. I’ve experimented a lot more with rhythm and synthesis and software. I think it’s a really fun summer album, if you haven’t heard it yet.. It’s really a warm, easy summer vibe. If you haven’t heard it yet, this is the time to get into it.
You’re here at a large festival. As a viewer, what’s the most important to you? Is it the lyrics, the performance, the music?
I’m sure it’s a combination of all those things, but that’s the best thing about festivals. Stumbling upon people you’ve never heard of it. Or being in a scenario where you’re allowed to be surprised, or taken by something you may have not otherwise had the chance too.
Who are you most excited to see?
I really wanted to Action Bronson, but I’m not sure if I’ll be here. I’m excited to see Amen Dunes from Brooklyn.
What was the inspiration behind your music video “Thousand Eyes”?
That video is actually from an old Bollywood film that I worked with an editor to put together. I wanted a video that really captures the feeling of where my imagination was when I was writing the song. There’s some kind of synthesis with the way that dancing and the train is very easy and a forward thing that’s happening in nature . It was perfect, I had to make it happen.
So what about “Higher”? You’re dancing around in the video, it seems like a lot of fun.
Yeah, I mean this album was a lot about freedom and being able to find that within the creative process. Also, being able to find it in how you present it. I think travel is a huge part of my album, and I was going a lot between New York and California and I think there’s something that happens to you when you’re moving forward or you’re flying. There’s like this expanse in freedom and I wanted to get into that with the video too. And also, I just wanted to have fun. I honestly wanted to make an album that was really fun for me to play and sing too. But also fun for people to listen too.
Going back to one of your older songs, “Daphne” you worked with Justin Vernon (Frontman of Bon Iver). What was the process like?
Yeah, I made that song and I felt like there was something missing. It really is like about man and woman, north and south, earth and sky, I was able to connect to him through my label, we’re on the same label. He’s super creative and super easy to work with and had some ideas and it was pretty seamless.
We’re all about The Xtra Mile. How do you go The Xtra Mile?
I mean I’m always trying to push myself. Especially as an artist, I think it’s especailly important to keep challenging yourself, keep searching for things that inspire you wherever that is, whether its in music, fashion, architecture or travel.
What’s next for you? Any final words for your fans?
I’m actually really excited to start working on my next album, which I already started doing. I’m excited that it’s going to come out a lot quicker than the last one. I kind of took a long time with that one, and that’s not going to happen again. I feel like I have a lot of energy to keep it going now, and hopefully be back here really soon.
Watch Lia Ices video for “Higher” below!