In 2019, empathy for others feels like a sadly rare characteristic. For Northern Irish singer-songwriter Lilla Vargen, it shines through in her music and highlights the importance of human connection.
Although her music is deeply personal, Lilla has a desire to highlight the universal issues that she cares most about. In her video for Why Wait, a tender, gossamer-like song about leaving a toxic relationship, she portrays the ongoing housing crisis in Ireland, a subject close to her heart. Lilla answers a few questions about her EP We Were Thunder for Hi Fi Way.
Was there that feeling of relief when your EP We Were Thunder was finished?
Yes, I was relieved that it was finished but also sad because making the EP was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I got to work with some incredible people.
What was your reaction when you played the final version back for the first time?
I was so glad that the sound was exactly what I wanted and I felt like the songs were honest and really represented me as an artist. It was so great hearing all the songs back and knowing how much work went into them.
Did you feel this EP really tested and challenged you? How was the studio experience?
I was challenged in the best way possible. I wanted the songs to be relatable and honest, and I wanted the EP to be an obvious progression from my debut Hold On. I loved working with Carey Willets and Darren Heelis on this project. Both completely understood what my sound was and both are absolute legends.
Did these songs become more personal than you thought?
Some of them were written a while ago and some more recent, so I dealt with a lot of the emotions that came with the writing process, and recording them was sort of therapeutic for me.
Do you think your sound has changed much?
I do. The sound is much more self-assured. Possibly less folk and more pop and that’s definitely more me!
Who do you look up for your musical inspiration?
Carole King is probably my biggest inspiration in terms of songwriting. Her music hits me in a way that most artists don’t. So many of her songs are hugely important to me on a personal level. and I try to channel Carole into my own writing.
Are there plans for an album?
I can’t wait to start recording my album next year. It feels like everything I’ve done so far has been building towards that.
Do you have plans for an Australian tour next year? What does 2020 have in store for Lilla Vargen?
There’s another EP coming in early 2020, which contains some of my favourite songs I’ve written to date. I’ll be out on the road throughout the year as well, doing more of my own shows, and festivals across the summer. I absolutely have to come to Australia next year! You guys have been streaming my music loads and it would mean so much to play live down under.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Have a listen to Lilla Vargen’s EP We Were Thunder on Spotify…