Lyves takes us through his EP “Change” piece by piece

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The British-born Italian-Australian alt-R&B artist takes us through her second EP piece by piece.

Lyves is the glorious solo project of British-born Italian-Australian singer, songwriter and producer Francesca Bergami. With over 60 million streams online and numerous rave reviews from global trend setters, Lyves is revered for her emotive lyrical themes, powerful voice and evocative artistry.

The London-based indie artist, songwriter and producer is releasing her second EP ‘Change’ today, after teasing the project for months with songs like ‘How Would It Feel’ and ‘Shame’. The genre-defying masterpiece draws inspiration from a wide selection of genres while keeping its core grounded in alternative R&B and progressive soul. We caught up with Lyves to break down the project piece by piece.

“Everything you love you will eventually lose, but in the end love will return in a different form.” — Franz Kafka Lyves is the glorious solo project of British-born Italian-Australian singer, songwriter and producer Francesca Bergami. With over 60 million streams online and numerous rave reviews from global trend setters, Lyves is revered for her emotive lyrical themes, powerful voice and evocative artistry.

The London-based indie artist, songwriter and producer is releasing her second EP ‘Change’ today, after teasing the project for months with songs like ‘How Would It Feel’ and ‘Shame’. The genre-defying masterpiece draws inspiration from a wide selection of genres while keeping its core grounded in alternative R&B and progressive soul. We caught up with Lyves to break down the project piece by piece.

Head below to immerse yourself in Lyves’ “Change” EP right now…

“Change” EP

Hi, I’m Lyves, an Italian/Australian heritage artist, writer and producer based in London. A nugget of Kafka’s beautiful wisdom resonates particularly with me in the realization of this project that I thought I would share in the introduction. It reflects how I personally feel about this project.

“Everything you love you will eventually lose, but in the end love will return in a different form.” —Franz Kafka

“21 days”

“21 Days” was written and recorded on my living room floor. I had this beautiful guitar sketch that my friend Atu (Sonder) and I started working on in Los Angeles in 2019. I knew I loved it but never found the right words or melodies, so I kept coming back to it. That day I remember playing with the track key and then starting to tap it with my foot on the floor. I ended up recording this “stomping” beat and suddenly the melodies started flowing. It was written and recorded in about an hour and a half from start to finish.

The lyrics poured out almost like a stream of consciousness. I imagined it to be that woman at sea – some kind of modern mermaid, waiting for her long-lost love that never returns. This track was one of the first written for this EP and looking back I now see how it foreshadowed what was to come both sonically and thematically.

“21 Days” feels particularly visual to me and is probably one of my favorites on the EP. The bassline was written and recorded by the amazing Tom Driessler. Seeing him perform live in a few takes was an amazing experience, I felt like everything about this song was easy, flowing and spontaneous. The extra guitar parts and co-production by Dave Okumu elevated the track to a whole new level for me, leveraging its power and built-in vulnerability.

“Shame”

“Shame” was written during a late night jam at my old studio. I spent a lot of time sampling back then and found this great drum loop and then very quickly played some ideas on it to set the mood. It reflected the mood I was in – I remember wanting to create something fierce that represented a side of me that I don’t often express musically. I imagined how this record would sound live and perform vocals from a booth as if I were doing it for a live show. These opening takes are the same ones you hear in the final version of the song. It’s just raw and unfiltered and somewhat chaotic, which I love, but the lyrics behind it are very meaningful to me.

Again, Dave’s bassline completely elevated it. I had something in mind for a bassline for this track but I hadn’t told him about it. Upon arriving at his studio, he said he had tried a part and it was exactly what I had imagined! The synchronicities between us were quite magical throughout the making of this EP.

“The system”

“The System” sounds like the most empowering song I’ve written about love to date – an ode to self-love, growth and healing. The song came about after recognizing that I no longer wanted to choose pain in love and consciously started to choose to walk away from unavailable people and situations that hurt. I have learned that sometimes we are subconsciously drawn to love which is painful, but once this is discovered and understood, you cannot ignore it and eventually begin to choose better and higher for yourself. It was incredibly liberating to write and feels, even more, unhindered to liberate.

Dave’s additional vocals on the track also added a new dimension for me – his presence and vocals seem like the song’s protective backbone. For me, they testify and reflect what I was expressing at the time. A precious moment of collaboration that I will never forget.

“Headband”

“Blindfold” was written with my good friend Drew Wynen. I was immediately blown away by his progression on the guitar and again, this song almost felt like it wrote itself – flowing out without much thought. I just let the initial improvised ideas become the final takes. Blindfolded, for me, is not wanting to see what’s in front of you. It’s about discovering denial and the role of hope that sometimes keeps us stuck in situations or relationships that aren’t right for us. I’ve always struggled with the duality of hope – in most cases hope is seen as positive, but the dark side of hope can perpetuate denial and keep us stuck if it gets out of proportion. Musically; I love the sound of this record and I think it touches on my love for folk music – an area I would like to explore more in the future.

“To change”

“Change” is a very personal account of my experience hitting rock bottom after the end of an important relationship. The devastation I felt was unlike any I had experienced before, but as I lost myself completely, I also discovered that staying stuck in denial only allowed the pain to linger. It’s a song about acceptance after months of living in the false hope of reconciliation. It tells how learning to accept and embrace change, after so much resistance, became my saving grace and ultimately my path to myself. I learned that change is inevitable, the only true constant in life and that by welcoming its flow we are freed from the burdens that unnecessarily cling to us.

As Buddha perfectly said, “Every experience, no matter how bad, has some blessing in it. The goal is to find it”. When we embrace change and learn from it, change is no longer our enemy. It becomes our teacher.


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