Lilystars’ newest signee, the Bacolod-based singer-painter Bea Dolloso, isn’t here to reinvent the wheel but, rather, to rediscover it. Ambient folk just found itself a spirited new ally.
Youth is a great hurdle. The hoops and loops that face newcomers are terrifying, and often that terror comes from the expectation that you somehow need to leap through them.
I remember reading something Matt Berninger said about the early days of The National, and how their entry to the New York pantheon happened, essentially, through a side door “while no one was looking.”
And why not? Not every new act sets out to set fire to the building. Not everyone is wired to rewire. In truth it’s counter-survival to be something other than another face in the crowd.
In some ways, the current landscape is hostile to perceived middling forms, including singer-songwriter fare, of which the young Bea Dolloso is a budding, spirited practitioner. Today she makes a stunning case for her idiom of choice through her Lilystars debut, “Yellow.”
A far cry from the charmingly crude demos that populate her Spotify page, the track repositions the Bacolod-based singer-painter as a serious contender in the ambient folk space. And to my mind, this same-but-different league, replete with diarists, penitents, and barebones stylists—which counts Dolloso’s heroes, people like Clara Benin and Julien Baker, among its ranks—feeds not so much on individuality but our staggering similarities as a broken, bruised, and ultimately compromised species.
But beyond hairsplitting in form, Dolloso is more concerned about content, choosing to offer up “Yellow” as a palliative for seemingly sprightly people who are secretly nursing some profound hurt. “I wanted the song to reach out to those people, and also to [remind people that their] feelings are always valid. We are allowed to feel whatever we’re feeling,” the young artist shares in a statement.
Recorded on a modest bed of acoustic guitar and synth, the production and mixing work—Dolloso alongside her partner Xel Gonzales, as well as Deaux Donn Magbanua, Chrisanthony Vinzons, and Drowning Sun Studio—props “Yellow” up, away from the bedroom and onto an otherworldly stage: one where vulnerabilities don’t wash away but assume a different form, invade a different body, bounce off a different wall.