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Lily Vakili Band releases new track “She Wants What”

Lily Vakili lays her heart bare with the single “She Wants What” but never in a lyrical Joni Mitchell acoustic confessional style. She grabs this new single by the throat with muscular rock chops elevating it to near anthemic levels as this track embracing empowerment and self-reliance bulldozes listeners with its spirit in a little more than two minutes. Her singing matches the raucous accompaniment raging behind Vakili and it has undeniable force imposing its will on listeners early on and never relenting during the course of the track. It is the first single from Vakili’s upcoming EP release Set of Seven and should expand Vakili’s profile in a big way without ever sacrificing an ounce of her personal credibility. “She Wants What” is an impassioned performance in every respect and will win please her existing fan base as well as making countless new converts.

The musical arrangement is muscular and a model of no wasted motion. “She Wants What” has an opening guitar riff setting a tone for everything that comes after. David Amlen’s production has a raw feeling in every respect – even the drumming hits with a live snap that sounds like the equivalent of someone kicking in a door. He captures the rugged guitar playing with the same naked fidelity. His production work doesn’t slather the playing with useless tinsel but, instead, frames it with the same immediacy defining the percussion. The across the board mandate of this track is obvious. It intends on connecting with its intended audience without any fuss at all. It aspires to unimpeachable honesty and Vakili’s writing and vocal performance reinforces that in spectacular fashion.

Her phrasing brings every word to vivid life. It draws inspiration from rock music despite the raucous blues rock pedigree of the guitars. She has some clear influences as a singer, Patti Smith immediately leaps to mind, but her own identity comes through. There is an uncompromising edge in the way she approaches the track and never sings the chorus the same way twice. Despite the brief duration of the track, it is a song that will prove malleable in live performance – one can imagine, with ease, Vakili and her band extending the track far past this template, but the single is a valuable listen nonetheless.

The rambunctious fire lighting this track up never dims. Vakili and her band mates alike give themselves over to the moment without reservation and it results in a satisfying performance checking every box for those who love rough and ready rock music. It is refreshing to hear a song like this is still possible in a world dominated more and more by vacuous pop forgettable after a single listen. Her new EP Set of Seven isn’t her first release, but Lily Vakili is still writing and recording music like an inspired newcomer and performs like her life depends on the song’s outcome. You can’t ask or hope for more from a rock track circa 2019 and she delivers it on every level.

John McCall

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