Sonoma-based bohemian babe Lia Ices has so many hyphenates it's hard to keep track. Her key roles include: singer-songwriter, mom to toddler Una, and wife of Andrew Mariani, cofounder of Scribe Winery.
The epitome of cool, Ices is living her best (and busiest) life as she readies for the release of her new (as yet untitled) album early next year. She took a few minutes out to chat with 7x7, and to share some of her fall style must-haves.
Think of Lia Ices' music as "Kate Bush fronting the Grateful Dead."(Giovanni Duca)
The momentum is already building with a recent profile in Vogue and a handful of live gigs in L.A. and the Bay Area, including a show at SF's The Chapel this past August. "It's an incredible feeling to start sharing this new material with people. I feel very enlivened by it, and I hope that my audience does as well. Hometown shows always feel like a party. Our community in Sonoma is incredibly supportive—big turn out from the country folks," says a smiling Ices.
If you're not familiar with Ices' voice, it's pure magic. She describes it this way: "My music is vocally driven, emotional, and mystical. Or as someone recently said after a performance—'It's like Kate Bush fronting the Grateful Dead.'"
While it has been five years since her last album (Ices), the soft-spoken Connecticut native and NYU Tisch School of the Arts graduate has been building a cult following since her 2008 debut LP, Necima. Her notoriety jumped a gajillion-fold in 2012 when a fan named Lena Dunham played the song "Love is Won" (from the album Grown Unknown) over the closing credits of an episode of Girls.
As for the long break between albums, love, marriage and motherhood are to (happy) blame. Ices met Mariani at an NYC dinner party in 2010. (Fun fact: They each showed up with different dates.) After three-years of long-distance courtship, Ices moved to Sonoma, the home of her soon-to-be hubby and his hipster-loved, sustainably farmed Scribe Winery. She's not an official employee, but Ices contributes much to the family biz. "I help out with all the music at the winery. I originally started DJing the pick-up parties."
Lia Ices' Style + Beauty Faves in the Bay Area
(Courtesy of Freda Salvador)
Shoes: Freda Salvador
"Loving this season's animal prints as the new neutral, and these vanilla snake boots from Freda Salvador are perfect." // Freda Salvador, 2416 Fillmore St. (Pac Heights), fredasalvador.com
After her daughter, Una, and her namesake Una Lou Rosé were born, Ices began curating the wine's themed monthly mixtape. "I am also deeply involved in ULR's brand concept and feel," she says (adding music and creative director to her list of hyphenates). Still, flesh-and-blood Una is always Ices' priority number one: "We spent the first three years of her life very attached, and I think that's given her a great deal of security in the world. Now, I feel like I can be out there a little bit more, traveling, and playing music."
Translation: The timing couldn't be better for new music.
"This album feels like a return to self and the piano. I wrote it on Moon Mountain in Sonoma, surrounded by ancient oaks, an apple orchard, and rose gardens, and while pregnant with my first child—alone, but not at all. I was stepping into the power of an archetypal femininity, feeling a mysterious love, and surrounded by nature, experiencing its life and death. It is definitely a California album—it enshrines the beauty of a specific time and place up on the mountain. I recorded it with JR White (from the legendary SF band Girls) between SF, L.A., and Stinson Beach."
Ices can't wait for the record to be fully out in the world. And after that? "Hopefully in the next five years, I will make some more babies and some more music. And just continue to evolve closer to my truest self," she says.
P.S. Check out the slideshow above for Ices' local fashion and beauty picks, favorite vino, and more.// Follow@liaices to keep tabs on when the new album will hit and subsequent tour dates.