Lilith Czar: The 10 songs that changed my life

Lilith Czar – the artist formerly known as Juliet Simms – guides us through the most important records in her collection…

Lilith Czar: The 10 songs that changed my life
Jake Richardson
Ashley Osborn

The secrets and stories behind the music that has shaped Lilith Czar’s life – from blink-182 to The Beatles – ahead of the release of her new album, Created From Filth And Dust…

The first song that I remember hearing…

Simon & Garfunkel – Scarborough Fair/Canticle (1968)

“I grew up on the beach in California, and I can recall the image of me with my mom, falling asleep on the sand when I was around two-years-old, while Scarborough Fair was playing on my parents’ jukebox. It reminds me of calmness – hearing those vocals bring to mind the first day of summer.”

The song that reminds me of being a teenager…

My Chemical Romance – I’m Not Okay (I Promise) (2004)

“When I saw that video and heard that song for the first time, I instantly felt like Gerard Way was my spirit animal; everything about the way he looked, his voice and how perfectly imperfect he was just connected with me so much. I was not cool in school and I didn’t have a lot of friends, and to this day I’m very socially awkward, so this song was relatable on a deep level to me. Hearing I’m Not Okay made me think, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to be that.’”

The song that reminds me of young love…

Dashboard Confessional – Hands Down (2003)

“Hands Down reminds me of the time I was so in love with this guy who was just not interested. I used to tailgate by the ocean in Florida and blast that song, which looking back is pretty embarrassing. I’d sit there with my guitar, Hands Down playing and just cry my eyes out. I wanted storybook love so bad.”

The song that reminds me of my first concert…

blink-182 – All The Small Things (2000)

“I was about 12 when I went to this show. I didn’t know how it all worked, so when my ticket said ‘Row 3’ I thought I was going to be right by the stage, but little did I know that in arenas there’s a whole fucking floor in between! The stage felt like it was a mile away. When blink played All The Small Things near the end, me and my friends jumped the barrier, and everyone in the seated area followed us – I believe there are videos of it online somewhere. It was fucking awesome and so much fun, though when we eventually got back to our seats someone had stolen our merch, which sucked.”

The first song that I learned to play…

The Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand (1964)

“I loved The Beatles and wanted to start with something simple, and I Want To Hold Your Hand only has a couple of chords, so it made sense to learn that. For about four weeks straight I sat there slowly going over those chords, to the point that my brother would be banging on the walls and telling me to shut up!”

The song that was the hardest to write…

Lilith Czar – King (2021)

“The song came to me because of some guy in a band that was really misogynistic towards me. I felt sick of being treated badly because I have a vagina and boobs, and that’s where the lyric, ‘If it’s a man’s world, I want to be king’ comes from. Work on this song began in the middle of 2019, but it went through a huge number of rewrites over the course of the following 12 months. I scrutinised over every note and did a significant number of takes when it came to recording, and so many ended up being thrown away. It was pretty painful.”

The song I can’t wait to play live…

Lilith Czar – Anarchy (2021)

“I wanted write a song that conjured the sense of unity you get from Queen’s We Are The Champions, and I feel like Anarchy does that for my record. I imagine everyone singing along to that song because they feel like it’s about them – I’m hoping for it to be a real moment of togetherness in a live setting.”

The song that picks me up when I’m feeling down…

Jimmy Eat World – The Middle (2001)

“This song got me through some tough times, and it’s another one that spoke to me because I wasn’t a cool kid. The Middle made me feel like I was great all by myself, and it reinforced that it was okay for me to feel the way I did. Jimmy Eat World reminded me that I wasn’t just a piece of shit!”

My favourite song I’ve written as Lilith Czar…

Lilith Czar – Diamonds To Dust (2021)

“Diamonds To Dust is my salute to classic rock. It’s got a Rolling Stones vibe, and it’s pretty stripped-back – just strings and acoustic. Lyrically, it’s inspired by my battles with substance abuse and self-destructive tendencies. I’ve handled some dark shit, but I’m glad I went through that, because I came out the other side a much stronger person.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral…

David Bowie – Life On Mars? (1971)

“This was one of the first David Bowie songs I heard, and when I discovered it I decided I wanted to be a space alien singer like him – it was a fantasy for me. Plus, when I die, I’m going to go and check out the fucking planets! Life On Mars? feels like a message from above saying, ‘Don’t worry, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m just up here doing some cool shit.’”

Lilith Czar’s album Created From Filth And Dust is released April 23 via Sumerian.

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