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Lees charms with sonics and storytelling on messy romance tale, "Night Wars"

12 January 2022, 10:25 | Written by Hannah Browne

After debuting in mesmerising style last autumn, Lees gives another taste of her debut EP with a bittersweet ballad, “Night Wars”.

Music means something different to everybody, but for Lees, it was a space for her instincts to be accepted. Growing up in South West London as a vicar’s daughter, a backdrop of religion and traditionalist values cast a long shadow over her childhood; ultimately spurring her on to dismantle the claustrophobia of religion.

While she challenged and rejected faith as a teenager, little did she know it would become her cornerstone today. Her music is an agency for crafting a narrative that’s free of constraints, including themes of sex, anger, and femininity, all the while parading an organic voice that’s long-awaited to be heard.

In earlier single “Honeymoon Suite”, she debuted her influences of Portishead and Frank Ocean’s Blonde while calling the track “a mess of memories.” It’s this confessional yet ethereal streak that makes her transformation and independence so remarkable.

A shimmering yet emotive number, “Night Wars” is an honest account of a relationship in decline. “I wrote “Night Wars” at the end of a relationship when I was still hoping that things would work out,” she shares. “The damage was deep but there was still a love between us, I kept holding onto this romanticised idea that a grand gesture could make it all better – that he’d suddenly come through and be the person I needed him to be.”

Created remotely over lockdown with writers Liam Howe (Lana Del Rey, Nilufer Yanya) and Eg White (Adele, Paloma Faith), Lees lightly infuses gospel-infused organs and electronic production while questioning “is it too late for us to get back to love?”

As the title track from her debut EP, Lees is set to explore these questions as she converts sorrow into a nuanced mosaic of alt-pop.

"Night Wars" is out now, with the debut EP Night Wars set for release on 23 February. Follow Lees on Instagram.
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