By: Lindsy Carrasquillo
Beach Bunny is singer-songwriter Lili Trifilio’s solo project which is now a full band. Their alt-pop sound is paired with personal lyrics that explore sadness and relationships in a reflective way. I was able to speak to Lili about the band’s upcoming EP, Prom Queen, will be released this Friday, August 10th. You can see them on tour on the west coast with Remo Drive and Field Medic in August and they’ll be playing Riot Fest in September.
Can you talk about what first drew you into wanting to play music? What are some artists you were listening to at the time?
I’ve always been interested in music from an early age, starting guitar lessons at 10 and then doing choir and musicals throughout high school but I didn’t start writing my own songs till my senior year. Entering high school I feel like I started listening to less commercial pop and picked up more what my friends were listening to which was a lot of early 2000s indie hits. I was a really big fan of phoenix and Bombay bicycle club especially.
As Beach Bunny was originally a solo project, what made you decide to make it a full band?
After recording ‘Crybaby’ on my own using multiple instruments and jamming with lots of people on a side, it felt right to add a live band so the songs would sound as good at shows as they did online. Last summer I also wanted to participate in this battle of the bands event at Side Street studio, in Elgin, Illinois so I took it as a sign to find people so I could enter.
Did your songwriting process change after becoming a full band?
The song-writing process hasn’t really changed since adding the boys. I write the songs musically and lyrically and then we all learn how to jam on it together and make it sound cohesive. Having more than one instrument has been great because the there’s more opportunities to have instrumental breaks or dancy riffs.
How do you think you’ve grown as an artist over the years?
Over the years I think I’ve become a better songwriter and lyrics tend to come more easily, whereas when I was just starting out writing songs was very challenging. I also think with the latest release especially I’ve been trying to branch out from strictly talking about romantic relationships and go into some deeper, important, subjects .
As your songs touch on heartache and change, does writing about these topics make them easier to deal with?
Oh yea definitely. Writing for me is very therapeutic. After a song, or EP is out it feels like a huge emotional release. I don’t think I could ever write about a subject I haven’t experienced.
Do you have a song that is your favorite to play live?
I think it’s a tie. I really love playing “boys” as a closer for the show because it’s loud and fast and most of the time people sing along. I also love playing call me baby because it’s not very often I play solo anymore, but its fun getting to sing by myself from time to time.
You recently released the song “Painkiller” along with a video. Can you talk a bit about the video and how the idea came together?
So the concept behind “Painkiller” was created by our friends Matt Gehl and Brandon Hoeg who are incredibly talented directors. The story behind the music video is basically that I get stood up for prom and pass out. Then the music video enters a dream sequence where the boys assist me onto a gurnee, which ties into the medicinal-themed lyrics in “Painkiller”, and we wheel throughout the street. The end of the music video is sort of an empowering moment of transforming the gurnee and hospital gowns into pirate gear and sailing away until the gurnee hits a bump in my dream and I wake up on the lawn. “Painkiller” will be part of series of videos for ‘Prom Queen’ so it’s only a little bit of the completed story.
What should people expect from the EP?
The EP is more rockin’ and dancy than my old material but it’s still sad-girl pop at its core. ‘Prom Queen’ in a way personifies teen heartbreak, insecurity, growing up, first-love, and youth through the character of Beach Bunny. People should expect to cry and dance simultaneously. It is also the first EP the boys are performing on!
In August you’ll be playing with Remo Drive & Field Medic and you’ll also be playing Riot Fest in September. What should people expect from those shows?
This is the first time any of us have toured so we’re beyond stoked for all these amazing opportunities. We’re hoping to give it our all and put on a great show!
As you’re from Chicago, can you talk about the music scene there and some local artists people may not be familar with?
Some artists from the chicagoland area I would definitely recommend is Girl K, Mt. Pocono, Lettering, and Gal Gun. They’re all super talented people that have been a huge support system with Beach Bunny and you should give them a listen.