Band: Lil Lotus
Album: Error Boy
When you see Lil Lotus, you don’t necessarily think he’d have the voice of an angel. You might think the tattooed, crazy haired guy might be nothing but trouble. But instead of beingsomeone who yells through their pain, Lotus sings his. And when he does, the melodies are ungodly beautiful, even if the lyrics are not. Lotus has had his share of hard times in his short life. The cognitive dissonance between his heavenly vocals and his heavy lyrics is very much on purpose.“
I wish the words were as pretty as the melodies,” says Lotus. “But the words are the reality.” Its his take on life’s pain that has made him a pioneer of what some would call the Soundcloud emo rap scene.
When Lotus was a teenager, he locked himself in his room for hours learning music, writing, and playing guitar. In his early 20s, he decided to bet on himself and quit his day job to make music full time. He put a Lil Lotus song online, then another, and “it just skyrocketed.” He followed the music scene to LA, where he fell in with a crowd working on a new sound that blended rap, emo, pop, and pop-punk. In 2017, he released his Body Bag EP (featuring GothBoiClique collective members and friends Cold Hart and Nedarb), the beginning of a series of singles and EPs that have garnered more than 30 million streams to date.
ERRØR BØYis his debut album on Epitaph, a fully realized studio effort that amplifies the flawless songwriting he’d been creating on his own. The album was born with scars of addiction, toxic relationships, and everything else under the sun. The album is the synthesis of his best efforts and worst instincts. “ERRØR BØYis about how I’ve struggled with addiction, I've struggled with giving myself the credit I deserve, with loving myself, with loving the ones that love me, with not pushing people away, with not running away from people who are completely there for me,” Lotus says. That manifests in songs of romance and all its perils.
On the single “Think of Me Tonight,” Lotus comes out of the gate pining against the backdrop of a heavily strummed acoustic guitar, his bittersweet and broken vocal performance sounding crushingly earnest. “I miss your room. I miss everything about everything you do.” he sings before the song builds into a sudden explosion, huge drums providing the bridge between the sad and celebratory parts of the perfectly balanced emo song.
“Romantic Disaster,” features Chrissy Costanza, singer of Against The Current. Here, Lotus isin ecstatic pop mode as he spells out the trouble that will come later. “I’m a bad idea in the back of your head, crawling into your bed, telling you the same old story,” he sings. Costanza joins him for the hook: “This is a romantic disaster, the nightmare comes after.” The song is the good part of the bad idea and its soaring harmony lifts you out of any misery that you know may come after you make that mistake.
“Rooftop” is a perfect California pop-punk song. “Meet me on the rooftop, it’s my last night in LA,” Lotus pleads. The song’s acoustic guitar intro transitions into an electric solo, and Lotus sings in similar style, moving seamlessly from quiet to loud “We’ve got one last night to party, we’ve got one last night to dance,” “Rooftop” continues. Whether or not you’re in LA, you can’t help but celebrate when you hear the song. Really, the same goes for all his songs.
It’s clear listening to ERRØR BØYthat Lotus is the new voice and face of pop-punk, ready to take center stage as the genre takes over the world this summer. Lotus worked closely on the album with a legend in the world of pop-punk and emo, John Feldmann of Goldfinger, who has produced for groups such as Story of the Year, The Used, Good Charlotte, Panic! At the Disco, All Time Low, and blink-182. Two tracks include another legend, Travis Barker on drums. Lil Aaron, a close collaborator, is featured, too. And while these guests and producers certainly beefed up his sound, they didn’t redefine it. So while ERRØR BØYmay be the first album-length look at Lil Lotus, he’s always been headed in the direction of this massive debut. “From the day I was born, I wanted to see how much I could handle. I always push myself to a limit,” he says. “There's some damage that comes with it, but that's always the thing that made me stronger. That's ERRØR BØY.