Lily Vakili wears many hats.
Harvard-educated biotech lawyer.
Advocate for the disabled.
And frontwoman for a full-on, revival-style, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds-meets-the Pretenders, rock ‘n’ fuckin’ roll band?
“Sometimes, you’ve got to raise—or rock—the rafters in a way that pretty much anyone with a dancing bone in their body can relate to in order to get a point across,” says Vakili.
That’s no idle boast, either: Vakili Band’s debut album, Walking Sideways, is an ecstatic channeling of pure transcendent pop-and-snarl power. And MAGNET is here to take you hand and lead you down the path to this luminous light via the premiere of the video for garage-y banger “Rachel.”
“Career-wise—from my days in theater to law to parenting to caregiving to music—I observe, listen and try to communicate in a meaningful way that resonates with the listener,” says Vakili. “So, simply being a person in the world, with all its complexity, heartbreak and reward, guides my songwriting and performance with the band. This makes sense to me, like a stream running through forests, hills and cities. It is still a stream, regardless of where or when you find it, and no matter what it’s called.”
The Montclair, N.J., quintet shot the video for “Rachel” at a local punk venue called Meatlocker. “There’s something really satisfying in creating with people, and in places, you love,” says Vakili. “The place is a dank basement, accessed through an unmarked door, along a long hall and down a narrow set of stairs. It’s dark. The walls are overrun with stickers from every local, punk, indie band you could dream of—plus a few more. Graffiti scrawls the walls. There’s a lot of attitude and freedom in that room. I think the spirit of countless wild, raucous, rebellious nights permeates the very floor of the place.”
Check the clip out below. And if you’re in the Philadelphia area tomorrow night, consider the video an appetizer for the band’s show at The Fire.