Silver Scroll Winners Lips Are Back With ‘Guilty Talk’

August 23rd 2019
Today is a good day for Lips fans, with the release of the brilliant new stand-alone single and video ‘Guilty Talk’ and the news that the duo behind the giant pair of lips on legs, Stephanie Brown and Fen Ikner, are currently in their studio working on their long anticipated full length debut, due for release in April next year.

Mixed by creative genius Kody Neilson, ‘Guilty Talk’ is somewhat of a comeback track by Lips, whose sound could be described as Prince meets The Pixies. They’re best known in music circles for the Silver Scroll winning song ‘Everything to me’, but have spent much of the past five years scoring,  playing and producing music for the stage show Daffodils and its film adaptation. On Monday, it was announced that the duo are finalists for the APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award, which will be presented at the 2019 Silver Scroll Awards.

After a planned two week theatre season for Daffodils turned into a half-decade project, it is perhaps ironic that Lips’ first new original music in some time unpacks the danger of assuming things.

“'Guilty Talk' is a song about challenging learned assumptions; things you’ve grown up believing just because once upon a time somebody told you that they were so,” says Brown. 

“The video was directed by Maria-Ines Manchego and made entirely on Super 8 film. Shot guerilla style on the streets of Tokyo, it features two dancers: Masa and Fuka, a couple in real life, from the dance studio Tokyo Buza.

‘Guilty Talk is out now on streaming services - listen on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.




‘Guilty Talk’ Credits

Written, produced and performed by Lips
Mixed by Kody Neilson

Video by Maria-Ines Manchego

About Lips
Characterised by a giant pair of lips on legs, Lips is a New Zealand based duo made up of award winning songwriter Stephanie Brown and producer/multi-instrumentalist Fen Ikner.

Lips was formed by Steph in 2010 in NYC, where she was living and playing with blues inspired band Fredericks Brown that shared the stage with Cyndi Lauper, Patti Smith and Etta James among others. In need of a solo outlet, she began pedalling her own version of lo-fi Casio pop, traipsing from small Brooklyn venue to venue with her keyboard, playing the drum beats from a CD discman. During this time she released her first EP, Lips Songs.

In 2012, “Everything to me”, an indie, RnB inspired track was released and it was with  this song that Brown seemed to find her voice. Influential music blogger Anthony Fantano said on The Needle Drop “Lips' music gains the sonic weight necessary to make a serious impact.” The song went on to win the Silver Scroll, New Zealand’s most prestigious songwriting award, and was in high demand by other artists wanting to remix it, including Adventure Club (4M streams across platforms) and more recently, UK’s Satl (100k streams).

The second Lips EP Look, Listen soon followed, and it was around this time that gifted multi-instrumentalist Fen Ikner (Calexico, Giant Sand) arrived in NYC. His first night in the city, his band Seashell Radio was fatefully billed at the same venue as Lips. Drumming, singing, and triggering samples, he had the skills that Steph needed and she convinced him to join the band.

In 2013, Lips released the EP Ghosts and Demons and played SXSW. In 2014 they returned to New Zealand to arrange the music and play for a theatre show. The show was a hit, and rather than the planned two week season, Daffodils took Lips on the road in New Zealand, Australia and the UK for three years, including a month-long season at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. That show inspired the recently feature film Daffodils, starring Kimbra, Rose McIver and George Mason, with music scored and produced by Lips. 

Now the focus is back on Lips’ original music with the release of stand-alone single ‘Guilty Talk’ (mixed by Kody Neilson) and the promise of the long-anticipated debut full length album, slated for release in April 2020.

“Stephanie Brown a.k.a Lips isn’t your run-of-the-mill singer-songwriter. The mingling of dulcet tones with idiosyncratic beats places her comfortably alongside Little Dragon.” Stamp The Wax

“It’s bold, dark, heavily percussive and raw, reminding me of some of Lykke Li’s more recent stuff” - The new lofi

“The candy-coated voice in which the Brooklyn-based New Zealander sings could lull a lion.” -

"Man im drunk just won 20 bucks on the lottery from a doller and this song is fkn beastmode" - Poisons' Gaming & Munchies (on youtube)

"This song represents the friendship I have with my bestfriend we're getting tattoos that say "everything to me" Thanks Lips!" - Suseth Mendez (on youtube)



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