There are two shops in NYC that always cheered me up to no end. One is a hat shop where it was so fun to try on all the hats and their fab, feathery accessories. The other was a tiny, cute-as-a-button tea shop in the east village that has since closed. Both places often played fun, jazzy music and were just so nice and cosy, like those comfy furry slippers that I seem to coveting as the days get colder. Anyways (and here's the connection!), listening to Lilian Bui's Daydream at Midnight gives me a similar feeling jazzy furry slipper feeling. Right now I'm also imagining a horrible combination of pajama wear crossed with 20's flapper style. It's too late to turn back - I have 15 minutes left to write this.
I first learned of Lilian Bui from the awesome Angry Asian Man. She is TWENTY-THREE. Insert joke about feeling old although am not really old. I think she was based in DC for a little while so basically she upped DC's cool quotient by 100%, though perhaps that's an admittedly easy task.
Daydream at Midnight is a self-released title and is a little sparkly gem of an album. You'll like it too if you're a fan of Norah Jones's style shaken up with a twist of a voice that kind of resembles the old-timey jazziness and rounded horn sound of Zooey Deschanel but is more nuanced. Many of the songs, even the slower ballads, are cheerful and full of light, which is nice right? We don't always need to be drearing away to Radiohead, not when there's copious ukulele and a bright springy tinge of musical theater to be had.
My favorite track is the boppy "Up." Bui makes lyrics like "Said I don't believe in magic/I don't believe in dreams come true/I thought the colors had faded and my heart was jaded 'til I fell in love with you" that could have ended up all saccharine-syrup work with the buzzy verve and open heart in the music itself. "Days Like These" radiates its quiet celebration of the sweeter moments in life in its bossa swing. Many of the songs are culled from her first collection of compositions, which she calls "Self-Entitled" (as opposed to "Self-Titled"), which you can find on Lilian's Youtube channel. She explains there that these particular songs "contain affirmative lyrics meant to remind us that we are all entitled to ourselves. To seeking happiness the way we define it. To be true to ourselves. To have space to do so, and to have fun along the way."
I'm all for affirming the need to give ourselves space to be ourselves, to try on funny, awesome hats, have tea with some sweet. Check the album out!