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  • Bryon Harris

Lily Vakili - 'She Wants What'

Lily Vakili is an extraordinary artist in the alt rock/indie rock community. Growing up, she moved around a lot living in places like Honduras and Thailand, among numerous other locations, because her father worked for the US government. In this nomadic lifestyle, she found that her real home - the creative freedom of her mind - was with her wherever she lived. The New Jersey based act started as a solo artist and eventually decided to form a band called the Lily Vakili band. The band itakes players from a variety of genres including rock and jazz, which creates an eclectic sound. The song, "She Wants What" released in advance of her upcoming EP, Set of Seven, is just one of many this artist has to offer; however, it really displays the hard hitting, no bullshit style Lily Vakili wants to represent.

“She Wants What” is musically a hard rock style song, which combines a fusion of sounds between that of Motley Crue and the Sex Pistols. The song was cowritten by her and lead guitarist, Ben St. Jacques and produced by David Amlen of Sound on Sound. Vakili’s vocal tone in the verses remind this writer of a powerful metal song from the 80s, with the punch style and the melodic sound; however, Verse 2 really draws a Sex Pistols punk rock vibe with a sort of slurred chant like vocal part reminiscent of songs like “EMI” or the more popular Pistols anthem “God Save the Queen”. It’s something that is commonly used in the genre and it really works in this song and adds something to the type of anarchy they are trying to create. The chords of the tune are straight forward; however, instead of a I-IV-V progression, it’s I-IV-III which is a cool tactic that really works in this type of music. It creates a bit of distress in the sound; yet, it still remains melodic enough to stay in your head all day.

The themes of this song really pull out that Hair Metal, Metal Chick vibe that contrast the stereotype of an innocent girl. This song describes a bad-ass woman who takes what she wants. Lyrically, there is the shock factor. Uneasy lyrics like “Nipple Liquid” and “Vaginal Sweat”. I t’s not a PG song; they don’t want it to be, and that is what’s great about this kind of music. It’s raw and unapologetic, like the woman in this song would be. The chorus is one of those self-explanatory choruses that shorten the line until the final time when it says the whole line, which is:

“She Wants What She Wants”.

The song evokes themes of freedom and feminism and a woman who does “what she wants”.

Lily Vakili can be compared to female punk rockers who came before her like Joan Jett or Patti Smith. She speaks of anarchy from a woman’s perspective and this song is 2019 Punk Rock Woman’s Anthem of the year. Vakili shows her power in her field and I would be on the lookout for more music from this artist in the future.


For more information on Lily Vakili, please visit her website.

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