Lily Kershaw was a little timid when she decided to make the leap from closet songwriter to full-fledged recording artist. Until recently, a lot of her close friends didn’t even realize she was making music.
“Actually, a lot of them found out when I had a number one song on the iTunes song chart,” says Kershaw. “They said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s what you do with your time?’”
She's spent about eight years writing songs. But most of that material ended up in a stack somewhere in her room.
“I’m a bit of a loner when it comes to music,” she says. “I really enjoy writing music and for a long time I didn’t even know if it was going to go beyond that, because it was just something that I enjoyed doing by myself.”
Kershaw seems to have since gotten over the hesitations, though. On Twitter, she’s promoting Midnight In The Garden, her official debut album, which was released last week. Her live set yields a similar confidence. During a recent show at Los Angeles' Room 5, she handled the stage like a pro, letting her vocals dance along an impressive dynamic range.
Her music is hypnotizing, intimate and conjures calming images like deer prints in a fresh blanket of snow, a Yule log, or a music box playing when no one else is around.
When writing, Kershaw likes to focus on emotions with melodies and tends to let the words come when they come. Writing constantly, it’s usually when a song sticks in her head for a couple weeks, then months, that she knows she’s landed on something special.
This album, led by the single “As It Seems,” is about contradiction. It describes a crossroads during a time in her life that led her to where she is today.
“The songs on this record were written between the ages of 17 to 21,” she says. “There’s very innocent moments and then there are darker moments.”