They look cute enough, but Lillix are more than just four pretty faces.
"We're definitely a rock band with pop melodies and harmonies," said 19-year-old keyboardist Lacey-Lee Evin.
The female quartet entered the pop fray with its version of the Romantics' 1980 hit "What I Like About You," which served as the opening theme for the WB show of the same name. With their current single, "It's About Time," the ladies have changed their tune from classic rock to a sound firmly planted in the here and now. Bouncy verses bloom into lush choruses about living life to the fullest in what is a logical next step on a trail paved by Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton and Avril Lavigne.
Both songs can be found on Lillix's debut, Falling Uphill, due May 27. Fine-tuned by an array of producers including the Matrix (Avril Lavigne), Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera, Pink) and Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette), the album teems with angel-voiced harmonies and jangly melodies, both the good and bad aspects of it.
The video for "It's About Time" was filmed in Los Angeles by director Liz Friedlander (Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch) in an abandoned hospital the girls described as "creepy but cool." Working with Friedlander proved beneficial for the new band, whose naiveté might have even taught the experienced helmer a thing or two.
"Liz was awesome to work with because she made us feel really comfortable with what we were doing," Evin said. "She totally connected with us. She was like, 'If you don't want to do this, I totally understand.' But we were open to try things and so was she."
"We love [the video] because there's a lot of live performance in it," added Evin's younger sister, guitarist Tasha-Ray. "And that's what we wanted to focus on because that's what we do. We're a band."
And surprisingly enough, they have been for nearly half their young lives. The Evins and bassist Louise Burns formed a band when they were in seventh grade (drummer Kim Urhahn rounded out the lineup only last year), though they began playing instruments at a very young age. The sisters claim it was when they were about 4 or 5.
Fans can get a taste of how they've progressed since those days in the Evins' basement when the group hits the road beginning May 10 for a series of radio-sponsored festivals that run through the end of August. So what can fans expect from live Lillix?
"They can expect to see a band," Lacey-Lee said.
"A good, solid rock show," Urhahn added.
"Once you watch the show, you'll see how much we care about our music," summed up Burns. "It shows through our passion. We're not doing this to make money or become famous or anything."
Consider the strides Lillix have made thus far as a welcomed side effect then.
"I just can't wait to start playing in front of thousands of people," Lacey-Lee said. "I've been dreaming about that since I was a little girl. I love writing songs. I love performing in front of people."