If you’ve yet to hear the enchanting trance like sonics from Italian solo artist Lili Refrain, where the hell have you been hiding? Armed with her Taiko drums, an array of percussion instrumentation, acoustic and electric guitars, a synthesiser and her haunting vocals, the ritualistic sounds this multi-instrumentalist creates is truly mesmerising.
Now today, ahead of her up-and-coming European tour with Norse folk collective Heilung, The Shaman is beyond stoked to bring you a premiere of the astonishing new video for Ahi Tapu. The track is taken from Mana, her current album that was released back in April through Subsound Records, which Dave Bowes waxes lyrical about in his review saying…
‘Refrain uses low throat singing and her reedier head voice to craft a narrative that conveys beauty, tragedy, and passion’, and concludes by adding, ‘Seriously, if you can hear these songs and not be transported to somewhere brighter, more magnificent than your living room or morning commute, you might want to listen a bit more closely.’
About the video, which was directed, filmed and edited by Carlo Settembrini, Refrain states, ‘I’m very proud of this work. The video is the result of my visions together with the precious collaboration of Teatro Cantiere, Ahi Tapu is the word that defines rituals and ceremonies related to fire, sacred element of deep transformation’.
Now click play below and be prepared to be captivated by Ahi Tapu…
More On Lili Refrain & ‘Mana’
Lili Refrain’s newest LP Mana lives up to its title. A combination of Anna Von Hausswolff and Burning World–era Swans, following the words of Walter Hoeijmakers, the founder of Roadburn Festival. Each track is multifaceted and they all have a heft to them, a weight that translates well to Refrain’s multi–instrumentalist abilities.
Commenting on the nature of recording process Lili states, ‘Mana is an album totally different from anything I’ve ever done before. I felt the need to experiment with the use of new instruments and take a totally new path. Compared to my previous album Mana is the most ritual in some ways’.
Refrain comments on the origin of the title saying, ‘It means ‘life force’, power that comes from within and is dedicated to those who have found themselves consciously facing a journey, without knowing where it would have arrived or even if it would have survived.’
Using very few guitars, Lili Refrain has not only distanced herself from her comfort zone but also created a danceable feel focusing on arrangements and vocal techniques. However, the work on background sounds was very deliberate, as Lili notices, ‘Stefano Morabito, the engineer and the owner of 16th Cellar Studio in Rome welcomed me in his studio and had been following me throughout the production.’
‘Spontaneous’ is probably the best description of creating the record that became Mana. ‘I felt the need to experiment’ says Lili about the current evolutions and changes in her ‘inner gaze’. Starting with Ichor, Sangoma and Mami Wata, Lili Refrain has been going down the path of rediscovering herself as an artist and performer. Combining both heavy synths sounds and operatic heights.
Pairing Taiko drum sounds of Mami Wata with her trilling and whispering, Lili Refrain manages to create a chanting and ritualistic experience.
06. Mami Wata
07. Ahi Tapu
Lili Refrain On Mana Plays:
Taiko, Floor Tom, Bass Drum, Glockenspiel, Gong, Bells, Crotales, Jingles, Air Conditioner Metal Tube, Trowel, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Synth and Voices.
Lili Refrain will also be supporting Heilung throughout Europe, the dates are as follows:
26/10/2022: Copenhagen (DK) – Forum Black Box
28/10/2022: Stockholm (SE) – Annexet
30/10/2022: Helsinki (FI) – Black Box
02/11/2022: Krakow (PL) – ICE
04/11/2022: Prague (CZ) – Forum Karlin
06/11/2022: Halle (DE) – Handel Halle
08/11/2022: Zürich (CH) – Halle 622
11/11/2022: Brussels (BE) – Cirque Royal
13/11/2022: Berlin (DE) – Tempodrom
16/11/2022: Bochum (DE) – Ruhrcongress
18/11/2022: Paris (FR) – Olympia
02/12/2022: Budapest (HU) – Barba Negra
05/12/2022: Ljubljana (SI) – L56
07/12/2022: Frankfurt (DE) – Jahrhunderthalle
09/12/2022: Milan (IT) – Alcatraz
14/12/2022: Stuttgart (DE) – Liederhalle Hegelsaal
16/12/2022: Vienna (AT) – Gasometer
18/12/2022: Munich (DE) – Zenith
08/01/2023: Rouen (FR) – Le 106
10/01/2023: Metz (FR) – La Bam
12/01/2023: Tilburg (NL) – O13
14/01/2023: London (UK) – O2 Academy Brixton
17/01/2023: Manchester (UK) – Bridgewater Hall
19/01/2023: Dublin (IR) – National Stadium
22/01/2023: Glasgow (UK) – Barrowland
Mana, the current album from Lili Refrain, was released earlier this year through Subsound Records and is available on various vinyl pressings, compact disc and cassette over on the labels webstore.