Berlin-based singer-songwriter LIA LIA releases funk-infused sad jam “Night Call” on b4.
In her own words, LIA LIA “makes music and slays demons”. Having meticulously released four amazing singles in the past three years, her demon-slaying skills have only been growing. While “Kids” was a minimalist and icy gem, her bubble-tea anthem “Boba Boba” saw her embrace her magnetic, catchy Kawaii core. With LIA LIA’s latest track “Night Call,” mixed by Geoff Swan, she takes a more mellow R&B but nonetheless hypnotic approach.
With her sultry, siren-like voice, LIA LIA has the demons are on her side. There’s a nostalgic sensibility to the stabbing synths; it calls to mind retro video games, in all their juddering, 8-bit glory. Yet the drumbeat is undeniably current, gifting “Night Call” a delectable excitement.
The breakdown at the two-minute mark meshes these two elements together. With the synths gaining in roundness, the introduction of a tambourine and the organic sound of fingers clicking, “Night Call” becomes sweeter in its menacing undercurrent.
The accompanying video, co-directed with Jannik Schneider, also flirts with the dark mysteries of the universe. Echoing great horror films such as The Grudge and Confession, we see LIA LIA set against an isolated backdrop of an empty school. It is in this setting that she lets her anxiety overcome her and thus accidentally summons Ryū, a water dragon spirit in human form, who LIA LIA engages in battle.
The eerie blue spotlight that frames Ryū, makes the video all the more mystical. Combined with an undeniable influence from Chinese fairy tales and Japanese anime, the video echoes the meaning of “Night Call”. In LIA LIA’s own words, “The song is about feeling lonely and disconnected from the world, waiting for someone to come and rescue me from my boredom.”
Well, look at the US, there’s nothing boring about battling a demon and there’s certainly none of the mundane lingerings in the soundscape of “Night Call”.