How many pop stars do you know from Westport, Connecticut? Didn’t think so. Allow me to introduce Lia Ices, the experimental pop songstress you may not yet be familiar with, but will be soon enough. Having just released her third full-length album (second for Jagjaguwar) and currently touring with Phantogram, it won’t be too long before Lia Ices is a more commonly mentioned name.
Ices released her first album in 2008, but it was 2011’s Grown Unknown LP that first found her spot in the public eye, featuring a duet with Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon as well as the single “Love is Won” which scored a placement in HBO’s Girls.
Compared to the likes of Bat for Lashes and Feist, Ices’ vocals certainly stand at the forefront of her music, but there’s a lot more going on here than a pretty voice. In describing the influences on her recently released self-titled LP, Ices explained, “We allowed everything we loved to find its way in: Persian percussion, hip-hop beats, lo-fi, hi-fi, Pakistani pop, Link Wray, Jason Pierce, gospel, dub.”
Tuesday night at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ices took the stage sporting a jersey printed with her name across the chest and a pair of white high top basketball sneakers. Dressed for the game, indeed. And credit to her confidence as a performer to take hold of the microphone and the stoic crowd’s attention simultaneously, making no delay in marching with conviction and charming smiles onto the faces of a room full of people awaiting a more melancholic experience with headliner Phantogram. Not the most perfect fit for a pairing, in my opinion, but I’m sure she made more than a few fans that night.
Her tour continues with dates in Philly, DC, and Brooklyn and wraps up in the Hudson Valley, where Ices was conceptualized. You can pick up the LP at the Jagjaguwar store, and do keep an eye out for more from Ices. Her quirky pop sensibilities have the kind of charm that won’t leave her under the radar for long.