Fronted by powerhouse vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Lily Vakili, Vakili Band will release Walking Sideways on February 25, 2022. The New Jersey-based band’s musical touchstones include Patti Smith, Joan Jett, and Brandi Carlile – with a smattering of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” liberation, David Bowie’s chameleon-like “Changes” and the New York Dolls’ attitude thrown in for good measure.
The new video, “Father’s Son,” was filmed on Outpost in the Burb’s main stage in the First Congregational Church in Montclair, NJ, where the band resides, and embraces a spirit of rebellion. “My lyrics are a poem with references and nods to what it is to be an outsider, loner, non-conformist - an artist, a son, a woman, a person that doesn't accept easy categorization,” Vakili says. She hopes that the message of empowerment will reach people who understand what it’s like to be in a place of otherness. “That feeling is maddening, alienating, lonely… until you find your people and your place in the world.”
Since the band’s first album, 2018’s Oh Alright, Vakili has been using her music to reach out to women and others who feel disenfranchised. And in March - Women’s History Month - the band will embark on a string of celebratory shows, beginning with two female-owned venues. The first, on Friday, March 11, is a hometown show at Montclair Brewery, where they will be joined by Stacia Thiel. The band next heads to Philadelphia for a performance at The Fire, where The Royal Fatback and Poppy will also appear. More shows will be announced shortly.
Born in Honduras and raised in Thailand, Puerto Rico, and Iowa, Vakili worked in theatre and went on to carve out a successful career as a biotech lawyer while continuing to nurture all manner of dreams, including making music. She’s since released three albums - two as a solo artist, and one with the band. Walking Sideways shows the growth of Vakili as a songwriter, vocalist, and bandleader, and the group as a whole – including lead guitarist and occasional songwriting collaborator Ben St. Jack, harmonica player Joel Dorow and the rock-solid rhythm section featuring drummer Gordon Kuba and bassist Matt Jovanis. As for the title of the album - Vakili puts it succinctly “I’ve rarely taken the direct route in my life. I come at things via the scenic route, not always by choice, but I get there - ‘walking sideways’ as it were.”
As the band gears up for the release on February 25, 2022, they are enjoying the return to the stage. “Performing music live is a pursuit of ecstasy, connection, desire, and love... it’s real, heady stuff,” Vakili says.
For Vakili Band, Walking Sideways represents a major step forward. They make it real... NOW.