Athena Lim dazzles and delights with indie folk single, ‘Lil’ Kindness’

The London-based artist sets the bar high with her third single from her new EP.

When I’m listening to a brand-new artist – an artist who I’ve literally never heard before – I guess I know within an instant whether I connect with them or not. You get what I mean, right?! It’s that sixth sense that you can’t really explain – but when you know you’ve found a proper new gem, you just know.

I’ve had that exact moment with Athena Lim; one minute I’m going about my usual business, and then a song called ‘Lil’ Kindness’ crashes into my life. And here I am now, joyously picking up all the pieces upon each repeated play.

Athena Lim is a new Canadian, UK-based artist, so new in fact that her debut single ‘Being Someone’ only dropped on Valentine’s Day this year. But Athena is taking this new journey seriously, having deferred her acceptance to do graduate studies at the Royal College of Art and Design in Print, to pursue music. ‘Lil’ Kindness’ arrives as the third single off Athena’s masterful new EP ‘Hello Frances’ – and this is certainly a case of third time’s a charm.

Evident straight away is Athena’s sharp ear for hooks, and there’re hooks in every miniscule crack and crevice of ‘Lil’ Kindness’. From the George Ezra-esque bubbling bass riff, to the Americana-tinged guitars to the syrupy melodies, ‘Lil’ Kindness’ is the shining blueprint of how to craft catchy indie-folk/pop splendour.

The track opens with breezy bass, punctuated by some good old fashioned hand claps and dainty piano embellishments. It’s the sort of jubilant instrumental that lends itself to a whole array of vocal styles, and with Athena you get a bright and effortless vocal performance with stunningly simple melodies – it’s a combination that rests very easy on the ears.

The first chorus beams. I love the playful skirmishes between the guitars, and Athena’s vocal hooks on “take my hand and walk with me” are a delight. Athena herself cites her influences as being Van Morrison, Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan… so, pop, country and singer-songwriter – got it. But between the staves this track reaches wider, especially with some of those world rhythms that give ‘Lil’ Kindness’ it’s real underlying charm.

Huge credit must also go to multi-instrumentalist and producer, James Atin-Godden, whose sonic balancing act is (almost) as velvety as Athena’s vocals.

On ‘Lil’ Kindness’, Athena Lim said: “It’s a joyful spiralling journey of a song and the track took us down some turns that we never expected.

“It came together in this amazing way where everything fit perfectly, and I found myself very much affected by it.

“The best part is the ending, which culminated from various happy accidents.”

The ending which Athena refers to is most definitely “happy”, but “accident” is a word that does Athena a disfavour, because every part feels so deliberately and beautifully arranged. ‘Lil Kindness’ concludes with a gleeful blend of instrumentation; the guitars somehow become chirpier, subtle synth swirls away and Athena’s smooth voice stitches it all together.

If you’re anything like me, and ‘Lil Kindness’ has knocked you for six, then you’ll be pleased to know that the rest of the ‘Hello Frances’ goes toe-to-toe in quality, and Athena is gearing up for a 2025 debut LP. So, until that album finally arrives, we can walk around with an extra skip in our step to the sounds of our favourite new artist. 

Listen to Athena Lim’s single ‘Lil’ Kindness’ below:

The post Athena Lim dazzles and delights with indie folk single, ‘Lil’ Kindness’ appeared first on IndieCentralMusic.

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