The Elusive Lys Guillorn Returns With Two New Songs

Photo by Pete Brunelli.

Photo by Pete Brunelli.

It’s not that Lys Guillorn is a recluse: she’s always playing out around Connecticut, on her own and as part of other bands, and it’s not uncommon to bump into her in record stores or taking in a show where she isn’t playing. But Guillorn has always been elusive as a recording artist. Though she is easily one of the best songwriters that Connecticut has produced in the past 20 years, her musical output has lagged behind her considerable talent since she released a self-titled debut LP in 2003.

The New Haven-area singer has put out the occasional single or short EP in the intervening years, and released a second LP, “Winged Victory,” in 2013. Each addition to her discography has felt like a welcome gift — if never quite enough. The same holds true for her latest, the double single “Sunny Side Down,” released as Lys Guillorn & Her Band. Playing at the head of a trio that features drummer Peter Riccio and bassist Eric Bloomquist, the songs find Guillorn in a more rocked-up mood than her more typical haunting avant-folk. It suits her. On the title track, she sings in sultry tones, letting her assured vocals ring over a rise-and-fall bassline and jangling electric guitars, underpinned by a subtle Hammond organ part.

“Spin Cycle,” the second half of the release, has political overtones as Guillorn sings, “Remind me again/ the difference between/ lying and spin,” and her tone is pitying over a stuttering rhythm that turns splashy on the chorus, and warm, gritty electric guitar. Together, the two songs are just enough to hint at a new creative direction from Guillorn. Or maybe they’re more a demonstration of the breadth of her ability. It’ll be hard to know for sure until she returns with the next batch of songs, and even harder to wait until they arrive.

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