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  • Kaitlyn Nicole

Album Review: "pretty lies & time machines" - LULLANAS

Lullanas pretty lies and time machines album cover

Eastern Pennsylvania native, folk-pop twin sister duo, LULLANAS has released their highly anticipated debut album, "pretty lies & time machines". An album from Atisha and Nishita Lullanas has been a long time coming since they released their first official original single in 2016, "Don't Say". Now over 8 years, a dozen more singles and collaboration projects later, LULLANAS has finally released their first ever album.


TRACKLIST

butterflies in reverse

24/7 (ft. Tommy Ashby)

out of breath

pretty lies & time machines

care enough

nearsighted

press play (ft. Tommy Ashby)

contradiction

another story

alright

wish you well


Based in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Indian-American sisters Atisha and Nishita Lullanas discovered they had musical chemistry together when one of them was gifted a guitar. They began posting covers together on YouTube 13 years ago and gained some traction when they posted a cover of "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People. They began writing songs together, creating beautiful harmonies that would make them stand out from the crowd. In 2020, they released a single titled "Bloom" which went viral and gained over 17 million streams on Spotify alone. After steadily releasing several singles throughout last year and early this year, LULLANAS has put all the pieces together in collaboration with producer Keith Goodwin to create "pretty lies & time machines", their first ever album.


butterflies in reverse


Kicking off the album is the leading single which was released last year, "butterflies in reverse". This song was meant to set the tone for was yet to come for the anticipated album, which was an evolved sound, honest lyrics and the stunning signature vocals we've come to know and love from LULLANAS. Co-written with guitarist, composer and producer Kyran Daniel, "butterflies in reverse" is about the opposite of getting those butterflies in your stomach when you develop feelings for someone. Instead of it being a good feeling, it's painful stomach cramps when you're losing someone you loved. Featuring stunning acoustic guitar and what feels to be improvised piano riffs, this song is a beautiful punch to the gut.




24/7 (ft. Tommy Ashby)


"24/7" was the second single release in anticipation for this album. Leaning a little more towards the soft-pop side of things, "24/7" weighs on the topic of mental health. In this song, the lyrics express that it's impossible to be okay all the time - but you don't want the people around you to take it personally. Just because you aren't acting your happiest doesn't mean that you don't appreciate their company. This song is for all the real ones out there who stick by their loved-ones side, even when they're at their lowest.

Featuring vocals from Scottish singer/songwriter, Tommy Ashby, "24/7" has beautifully honest vocals over a gentle beat, dreamy synths and a variety of folk inspired strings.



out of breath


Next, we have "out of breath" which came with a brand new music video once the album released! With a stomping beat, ringing electric guitars and a bright acoustic rhythm, you wouldn't expect the lyrics to be so devastating, but they are. "out of breath" is about that kind of relationship where you have to repeat yourself so much that you eventually just give up. You beg someone to do something for you, and they promise they will, but they never do. So you ask them over and over - until you just don't care anymore, or in this songs case, until you run out of breath.



pretty lies & time machines


Track four is the title track, "pretty lies & time machines". Described as a "confessional, campfire singalong", this song is about nighttime anxiety when you're alone in the dark with just you and your racing thoughts and fears. "pretty lies & time machines" features finger-picked acoustic guitar, banjo and western piano chords which create this dreamy, country influenced soundscape that simulates the exact feeling LULLANAS sings about in this song. The layered soundscape represents the feeling of a busy mind, but also has an ethereal component to it that makes you feel like you're floating in a dream. Co-written with actor and composer Jake Etheridge, the lyricism in this song is on another level of poetry and relatability.



care enough


"care enough", is a stunning, cenematic, finger-picked acoustic ballad with layered vocals and sustained chords. This song is about when you've been with someone for such a long time that sometimes it starts to feel like you're growing apart. You're just so used to each other that the romance stops, you no longer check-in on one another, and it's beginning to feel like you might not even care at all anymore (even though deep down, you know that you do). It's scary when something like this happens, because you're not sure if you'll ever be able to get that spark back. The emotional, whispery, echoed vocals and haunting melody will leave you grasping at your chest; especially if this is a relatable situation for you.


nearsighted


"nearsighted" brings back the country influence with it's stomping beat and twang. This song is an ear-worm with it's catchy "ays" which are easy to sing along with and will definitely get stuck in your head. "nearsighted" is about seeing things more clearly once you're on the outside looking in after leaving a relationship that wasn't good for you. They say love is blind, but once you're pulled out of it, you're able to realize just how much better off you are without them. Co-written with indie folk singer/songwriter Riley Pearce, "nearsighted" features sparkling keys, banjo and a popping bass to give it a mixture of modern pop with a bit of country feel.



press play (ft. Tommy Ashby)


In "press play", LULLANAS brings back Tommy Ashby who we heard earlier on the song, "24/7". Singing in a mixture of unison and harmonies, LULLANAS sings together with Ashby throughout the whole duration of the song. The acoustic guitar plays gorgeous, heart-grasping sustained chords while beautiful vocals echo in the background. The vibe of this particular song reminds me of something Of Monsters and Men would do, with it's heavy folk influence and having the prominent mixture of both female and male vocals. "press play" uses plays on words as if life is like a movie that we can just rewind and fast forward where we can just skip to the parts we like, or rewind to when things were good.


contradiction


"contradiction" was the first song written for this album and was co-written with actress and singer/songwriter, Katelyn Tarver. The song began with a discussion about how the pandemic made them feel stuck. "We talked about the disconnect between our desires and our actions, how giving too much could ironically leave you with too little, how caring deeply won’t necessarily make someone care back, and how hard work can sometimes still lead to staying in the same place. After sharing all these thoughts, we all came to the realization that maybe we are all just walking and talking contradictions," they say. Out of every song on this album, there's no doubt in my mind that there's at least one line in this song that anybody in this world could relate to, especially with the state of everything these past few years.



another story


"another story" is a gentle, haunting and heartbreaking track that has early 2000's country-pop vibes; reminiscent of Taylor Swift's Fearless Era. It tells the story of when a relationship doesn't work out, but that other person wants to act like nothing happened. They're too coward to admit how much they hurt you, so they just pretend they never did. In the lyrics, they sing, "I'm sure when I see you again, you'll smile and pretend we're just friends / we both know in my head it's another story. I'm sure a year from now, you will have forgotten about it / but I know in my head it's another story."


alright


"alright" is one of the most vulnerable tracks on this album, especially for Atisha. Co-written with Canadian singer/songwriter Luca Fogale, "alright" was written as a confessional ballad for Atisha to confront her struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and how falling in love was able to help her. “Instead of dwelling on the negative, the song explores how rituals, routines, and the need for control can be all-consuming, but how falling in love and letting someone into that part of my life completely broke the cycle I had been trapped in for the longest time” Atisha says. "alright" takes a bigger step towards pop and features an orchestral soundscape with a danceable beat.



wish you well


Closing out the album, we have the track "wish you well". Just based off the title alone, it seems like the perfect last song. Ending things on a very optimistic high note, "wish you well" serves as the most upbeat and energetic song on the album. Filled with percussion, bass and guitar, this song screams indie pop at it's core. This song is about saying goodbye to a relationship; and yeah, it might've sucked but at the end of the day you still wish them well. You're ready to move on to bigger and better things.



"pretty lies & time machines" is a very strong, solid project from LULLANAS. I think they should be proud to call this their debut album. I think it's clear that they know who they are as artists and have found their signature sound. Their musical chemistry and sisterly bond are undeniable and you can feel it when you listen to their songs. They use mixtures of indie pop, folk, country as well as dreamy vibes to create this ethereal experience. If your favorite albums by Taylor Swift are Folklore and Evermore, then there's no doubt in my mind that you'll absolutely love not only the "pretty lies & time machines" album, but LULLANAS' discography as whole.


Written By Kaitlyn Nicole


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*Sponsored Post - Discovered on SubmitHub. A contribution was made to help create this article as part of a promotional campaign.

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