PERFECTLY IMPERFECT — LIA ICES

In the opening moments of her newest song, "Earthy", singer, songwriter, and powerfully mystical mama Lia Ices channels divine intuition with a voice like a morning bell. She never wanted to sing (she sings), she'd rather be a dancer, her body like a language. She never wanted to write (she writes), but sometimes it comes right through her, not a choice but as a duty. These explorations—this search for finding what is true among the great contradiction and beauty of the human mystery and then giving it a path to pour forth in song and word—is the essence of Lia's work. 


The music is itself mystically reverent: the heartbeat of piano like waves against The Lost Coast, the reverb echo like the vast cathedral hush of towering oaks, and the laid-back drum feel is like our old favorite records caught the electric spiritual current drawn forth by the gentle rhythms of ancient California mountains.


But it's the pure, honest poetry of Lia's verse and her crystalline songbird voice that speak straight to our hearts and we wanted to know more. Lia spoke with us from her mountaintop home in Sonoma (her partner, Andrew, is the co-founder of Scribe Winery) on the spiritual practice of creativity, the psychedelic power of the primal feminine, and the value of showing up. Put on a record and read on.

 

Lia wears the Audrey Shirt Jacket and 1930's Bandana in Avocado

  

  

  

  





What does your current songwriting practice look like? Has that changed in the last few months? Has that changed again since the birth of your daughter (welcome to this side of the beautiful universe, Alice Moon!)?

Thank you, baby Moonie is such a Sweetheart. A couple months after our first daughter, Una, was born, I had a huge flow of inspiration and song writing. I can feel that coming soon with Alice. Birth is such a transportive process it brings up so much emotion and connection to our most primitive selves. When the time comes that ideas are bursting out of me, I will sit down at the piano—and even if they aren’t, I will show up! I've learned over the years that the first and most important step to any creative process is just showing up day after day, and allowing for the possibility of creation or even greatness.  So, that is coming very soon…but for now and I am writing down and deciphering my dreams, paying attention to the magical details of this moment in time, and cuddling with 2 month old Moonie and taking it all in.


 

Motherhood is such a profound and constant force of re-centering. How has that heart-journey changed or impacted your sense of yourself as an artist? As a human?

Pregnancy and natural childbirth has connected me to the primal feminine in a way I never could have imagined. The total surrender and softening (both physically and emotionally) to make way for new life has inspired me into full on feminism this time around! Women are so incredible—they are a vortex of creation. The process of becoming a mother and now second-time mother has totally changed my understanding of who I am and what I came here to achieve. Pregnancy, birth, and motherhood also supports the idea that I've always kind of gleaned, which is: the more real life gets, the more psychedelic it feels.

 

Do your physical surroundings affect your creative process? Paint us a picture of what your creative spaces look like...

I wrote the bulk of my last album on Moon Mountain in Sonoma (Alice Moon is named after it)—I had a sense of freedom I’d never felt before, like I could really create my own reality and a way of life that I hadn’t even dreamt of yet. Living amongst towering oaks and fruit trees and on the top of a mountain changed me and my songwriting forever. You can hear the influence of Northern California and specifically, the mountain, in these songs—fully, spiritually connected to the soil on which it was made. I started writing music in New York City, where the energy of that place was something I had to assert myself against—and my last 3 albums have all been written in the country: Vermont, Hudson Valley, and now Sonoma.  I love living and writing music in the country—it roots me to the essence of things and allows my work to unravel organically, patiently, and inspired.


  

  

 

Lia wears the Carolina Trench, Rae Cardigan, and Utility Pants





 

 

Lia wears the Eva Jumpsuit in Pale Avocado

  

  

  

  

 

  





Are songs ever "finished"?

Sometimes the best version of a song is the first raw demo, so pure and true. There are always little things I want to change, but it’s often trying to accentuate or recreate the energy and spirit of when the song first came out of me.

Once I can listen to a mix of a song and enjoy it without wanting to change anything, it is finished! Though I do believe that sometimes it can be more valuable to finish a song than for it to be "perfect"—it’s  astonishing how easy it is to overthink a mix of a song when you are submerged inside of it.



As a performer, is there are difference between your performative creative self and your private creative self?

Even though I have had different phases within my work and musical style, singing is the way I express myself—it is how I process my human experience and it is the closest I get to a spiritual practice. Whether I’m alone at the piano or in a venue performing for people, I've found the confidence along the way to just be me and share that as best I can. When I can relax into myself and not “push it”, there's an opportunity for something very honest to come out—and I think that's what we’re all looking for; something real.

How do you make sure your cup is full?

 

Drink wine. 




 

 

Stream Lia's new song "Earthy" here and see the video here. Photos by Alanna Hale.

 

  

 

 

 

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