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Lily Frost brings all styles to Songwriter Series

Toronto-based, multi-faceted singer hits Donaleighs Tuesday night
Lily Frost plays Donaleighs next week (Photo provided)

If you close your eyes, it’s not difficult to imagine Toronto-based chanteuse Lily Frost holding court in a Paris cabaret in the 1940s, where she reckons she may have had a “past life”.

“I have always had an affinity for retro culture. I am an old soul.”

She is many things, and it reflects in her music, which, if you open your eyes, and ears, you can take in this Tuesday, Nov. 28, as part of the Songwriter Series at Donaleighs Irish Public House in Barrie.

Frost tells BarrieToday that, as an artist, she creates “the ultimate scenario using real life and fiction to depict my story. Usually I start with a concept and create a scenario that supports my idea. When I perform, I become that character, surrendering fully (to) the perspective the song takes to communicate the message.”

Nor is she imprisoned by genre, “I enjoy exploring all rhythms from all countries and not confining expression to one particular theme. Lately however, I have been performing with my band The Gentlemen Callers and we are a jazz/swing/rockabilly band.”

Frost’s latest CD is called Rebound, about surviving relationships - especially important as more women appear to be finding their voices against abuse and disrespect.  

“There are many stages of falling out of connection with another. There is sadness, grief, anger, remorse, forgiveness, hope... that are crucial to feel before being able to let go and move on. (The song) Rebound Bitch embraces the anger in an empowering way. Sometimes, we have to feel the hatred or whatever we may feel and let it pass through us before we are ready to heal and move on.

Most of us have endured much disrespect and power imbalance and have to walk on eggshells to maintain jobs and relationships. When we reveal our true selves we usually get fired or dumped or called crazy.”

But Frost also believes a woman’s power can save the world.

“It can heal and reveal answers and connect through love and empathy and a deeper strength that does not include rationale or proof. The ability to create life is a power that is feared. But fear is not a good reason to act. Our motivations should be based in love and respect.”

When Frost puts down her guitar, she teaches yoga and makes jewellery

“Yoga is a grounding practice and serves to connect to source energy. As an empath, performer and healer, I have to preserve my strength.

“Jewellery making was very meditative. Each bead has a resonance next to the other and I would feel the way the colours and shapes interacted so it got me in touch with my intuition.”

While no one of Frost’s many songs totally sums her up, her favourite is called Dominatrix.

“I realized men in positions of great power like CEOs are into this type of sexual play. They are always in control and it's stressful, so when a woman takes charge in the bedroom, it allows them to relax and switch the script and I guess that is a turn-on.”

Lily Frost is eager to take the stage Tuesday night at Donaleighs with Arianna Gillis and Sarah Morano.

“I have not performed solo with my guitar in many years so this is forcing me to reconnect with myself as a solo artist and songwriter. (What’s more) it is empowering to be on stage with two other female songwriters.”

Donaleighs is located at 28 Dunlop Street East. For more information about the show, please click here.