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White Shell

by Tobias Lilja

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the backside of the envelope of every valentine you wrote kisses and a sorry note subscribing to your inside jokes please let me haunt you and let me throw the dice how to attract snowflakes like on Wallace Street that night false dawn telling me the truth wishing me harm like I’ve done to you darkly Olympian the first dusk outside december sweet december you may kiss the bride start with the funeral and go on with your life you will all be blondes next year a new years eve on fire cold dawn all you’ve got is youth oh wish me harm like I’ve done to you
White Shell 05:10
tucked in under white sheet blood red veins soon this egg will be too small and this little bird will carry a song this can be traced all the way back to Beethoven a descending major third on and on on and on passed on all the way down down the bloodline down the bloodline


White Shell is the second EP in the Medicine Sings Triptych.

A few years ago, Tobias moved his studio out of his apartment and into a bigger soundproof space. This enabled him not only to be louder and experiment more with his voice, but also to incorporate a lot more hardware studio gear and acoustic percussion instruments in the recording process. The result of this studio work is the Medicine Sings Triptych.

While the foundations are still firmly rooted in electronic music, Tobias has also explored vintage reverb technologies, such as spring reverbs and tape delays, giving the songs a more organic and tactile sound. The majority of the synth phrases and filter sweeps have been jammed out live in the studio on hardware synthesizers. This approach, in combination with the use of acoustic percussion elements, has given the whole work a very direct and immediate feeling.

Where “Delirium Portraits” had an almost pop-flavored lightness to some of the songs, this triptych presents the listener with a new weight and resonance. The sounds are more organic, and also more challenging. Repetitive and slow progressions connect firmly with a minimalist tradition, but rather than reaching for the abstract and etheric, these soundscapes are grounded in an industrial, and at times almost ethnic, sound. The musical landscape is reminiscent of ancient shamanic rituals, but with a definite industrial flare. The repetitive and hypnotic rhythms carry the songs and merge with exquisitely chosen and elaborate sounds that demand the listener’s attention.

Vocally there’s also more experimentation than on previous releases. The work with various effects on the voice is familiar, but here the vocal compass has been extended further and now spans from whispers to screams. The voice is used as part of the instrumentation, often through several layers and pitches, and at times the vocals are more like chants than actual singing. Sometimes tugging at your soul and hinting at your deepest fears, but also soothing you with softness and warmth.

Lyrically Tobias has taken a step away from the storytelling approach on Delirium Portraits, and ventured towards a more elusively poetic approach that mirrors the the depth of the soundscapes. The words merge with the sound and the lyrics merge with your own internal images. The storytelling has given way to the journey and an invitation to explore the inner landscapes. Already in the very first song, we are told to leave it all to medicine, and this is medicine for the soul.


released March 6, 2015

Written and produced by Tobias Lilja
Lyrics on "How To Attract Snowflakes" by Sam Sohlberg
Cover photo by Anna Moberg
Cover layout by Sohlberg Studios


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Tobias Lilja Malmö, Sweden

Tobias Lilja is a Swedish electronic experimental artist that has been active since 2001. Mainly within the fields of electronica, ambient and techno but he isn’t afraid to explore and incorporate other genres as well. His work is characterized by the attention to the sound design and the use of his own voice. Tobias also does sound and music for video games, television, films and art projects. ... more

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