Ilithios PT 2: *Exclusive* music video drop for “How We’ve Faded,” bandmates dish on the making of “Every Bird Ever”

Here at DeliCorp we’re not typically big fans of sequels, remakes, franchises, etc. You can keep your Marvel Universe, we’re over it.

But we’re not over Ilithios. Sure, we already gave our take on their new LP recently. But then they go and drop this cool video (directed by Ilithios & Jen Meller) featuring Ilithios’s chief operations officer Manny Nomikos demonstrating his patented, surefire method for silly string, spray paint, mustard, coffee, and pie-in-the-face removal, for those days when you wear your best baby blue suit out on the town and everything goes to sh*t. See for yourself below…

But wait, there’s more! Cuz the Ilithios Family (and it’s truly a “fam” or in other words, a highly collaborative project sired by a tight-knit collective of friends and musicians) gave the Deli the inside scoop on the making of Every Bird Ever (released on Totally Real Records) and its individual songs, most of which feature a guest co-vocalist from inside or outside the ranks of the band proper and some guest instrumentalists too. So read on for the inside scoop “Behind the Music” style and check back early and often cuz you never know when some new commentary may get added…



Don Lavis (drums): First off, Manny is the embodiment of expression; a pure creator. I came into the fold during the late stages of the recording process and was gently told that I needed to be on the record (was NOT expecting to be on the first track – there’s a lot of pressure there, you know). This brings me to another point about working with Manny: he genuinely appreciates and amplifies every musician he collaborates with.

Jeff Berner (producer, guitar / synths/ vocals/ percussion): Can we talk about about how the album intro is a useful yet vastly underutilized thing? No? Well, alright. This was a late addition as I recall, Don Lavis recorded his own drums with one mic in a practice space. Which just goes to show you, none of this fancy-ass recording horseshit matters when you can play like Don Lavis. Fuzz bass accompanies a few different things you’ll hear later on in the record—bird sounds, manipulated voice synth. Conceptual continuity!


Allison Langerak (vocals): Manny gave me lyrics and a demo for “Turn Off” last January and I worked on some harmonies. The idea for the part when my vocal becomes the main vocal was that it was supposed to have a heavenly, out-of-body feel to it. I recorded the vocals for that song at Studio G on an extremely cold day in February. The studio had a very fun feel to it! Both Manny and [producer] Jeff Berner were incredibly hospitable and welcoming. Collaborators were coming in and out that day so it was like an evolving party! 

Jeff: It’s hard to pick a favorite moment of the “Every Bud Ever” overdub sessions, but Allison Langerak’s incredible one-take vocal just knocked us all backwards. One double-track and one harmony vocal followed in swift order. Amazing. And Rosie Slater on the tasty reverse reverb Ringo fills! I keep a running collaborative google doc of mix notes for most projects. This was Manny’s note for this song: “Is there any sorta sound design we can add to sorta crescendo into the big explosion, so that people listening don’t accidentally fuck up their ears or blow their speakers or actually shit their pants?” Nah.


Jeff: Manny had most (if not all) of the other songs written and demo’ed out at one point, but kept saying that he needed one more upbeat song. Then he went away and wrote this summer banger. Rosie Slater pullin’ double duty on vocals and drums here, and knocks them both out of the park. (Did you know that she’s got a great voice? Well, now you do!) I’ve got a nice memory of an afternoon that Manny and I spent in my home studio, coming up with a lot of the weird intro/verse guitar textures. I think we ate popcorn, as well.


Jeff: Love Manny’s synth colors here. And his guitar work! Ben [Reynolds] and Julie [see below] on drums and bass respectively, swingin’ for the fences. “The Rhythm Section Most Likely To Bust Into A Rush Song And Actually Pull It Off” was probably too much to write on the LP’s back cover, but look, I’m just the music guy. I have a vague memory of inadvertently waking my wife up while recording percussion for this one night. Sorry!


Ana Becker (guitar/vocals): We worked on “No One’s Kind” together. Manny brought a draft over and we hung out and workshopped it a little bit. In the end, I think a line or two of lyrics that I suggested made it in; it felt pretty cool to be included in that stage of the process. Then I also worked on the guitar solo for that one (just trying hard to do my best Jeff Berner impression, honestly)! I sent over a few options, and Manny kept pushing me to go gnarlier and gnarlier with it. I felt like we were going over-the-top but in the end that was just right for the song! 

Jeff: Okay, this one wins the prize for “Best Guitar Solo” on the record, hands down. Ana Becker, alternating singing beautifully with shredding an earworm of a solo. Rosie “Yep, I Play The Piano Too” Slater on piano and drum duties. Working out harmonies with these two and Manny was a highlight. Almost sounds like we should play in a band together, or something.


Jeff: Stephanie Gunther was the perfect vocal match for this tune! Steph sings with tons of presence and grit, certainly no pretend cowboy messiah business here. No amps were harmed in recording the guitar tracks–all were tracked with kinda shitty distortion pedals I own, straight into the console. I’m proud of the various guitar parts on this one. Sometimes you just have to make a lot of noise with the studio monitors blasting you in the face. I am usually somewhat allergic to drummers accenting with the bell on their ride cymbal (sorry! I have a lot of drum-pinions!) but Ben uses it perfectly to lift the end of the tune. Color me wrong, color me impressed.


Justin Gonzalez (guitars): My only recorded contribution to the album (unless there’s something else I’m not aware of hah)!  Everyone in the band is busy with multiple projects, and I’m no exception. I was able to carve out some time in the studio with Manny and Jeff Berner at the helm and improv some ambient guitar halfway through the song.  It’s one of many beautiful songs on this record.

Jeff: There’s that voice synth! Esteemed bud Justin Gonzales (he of the excellent Slalomville) lent some beautiful tweaked and tweezed guitar to the track, evocative and perfectly ambient.


Ana: “New Leaf” is also a really special one, [drummer] Rosie Slater sings a lot on it and I sing a bit too, and Jeff sings too which is so awesome. Nothing like being in a big stack of harmonies with your homies!

Jeff: Aw man, maybe the centerpiece of the record. Lyrics get me every time. Rosie, Ana & Manny sing beautifully together. Some other guy also sings at some point, he sounds like a nice guy.


Julie Rozansky (bass/vocals): I remember going into the studio to do vocals for “Vapors”. Manny knew he wanted big lush harmonies on that one, so we worked out harmonies on the fly between Manny, me, Ana, and Rosie. We kept adding layer after layer after layer.

Jeff: Julie (aka Basalt Jar) on vocals and bass. I love how we need to wait for a minute to get hit by the first chorus, some nice tension and release happening there. And what a chorus! Ana, Rosie, Manny, and Julie all harmonizing together here in a way that totally opens up that section. Three other important elements to that track: Rosie’s percussion, backwards guitars, and a guitar solo I was told was reminiscent of Erasure (I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you mutely.)

Justin: My fave on the album!  Featuring our very own Julie on lead vox. There’s a lot of loss and heartbreak on this album, and this song to me perfectly encapsulates those feelings. So beautiful…


Jeff: I think that Stephanie sung this about five seconds after finishing her vocal on “Conservative Heartthrob”–and worked out all those harmonies to boot. Bravo! Nick LaFalce on intensely MicroLimited saxophone.


*This space for rent*


Justin: We first started playing this song back in 2021, and it reminds me of the time we debuted this song at the East Williamsburg Econo Lodge (lovingly known as EWEL).  Don’t remember if it was a livestream event or actual in-person show, but I remember feeling “OMG I’m playing loud music again with friends!” Manny’s energy is so infectious live that you can’t help but join in on the fun. The recorded version definitely captures that, with a searing solo from friend Gavin Dunaway (Libel).  And I’m always a sucker for joyous music with somber lyrics.


Allison: In May, Manny asked if I’d be willing to record another song. He sent a demo saying that the song required some heavy emotional lifting. I’m always up for bringing the emotions so I was excited! The song is very moving and it really resonates with me so it was not hard to add that element. I worked on the song and then recorded the vocals at home. 

Justin: Oof…another heartbreaker.  This one kills me in a great way, so much so that I can’t listen to it too often. And Allison’s vocals on this soar into the heavens.  A perfect ending to Every Bird Ever. Love you Manny.


Julie: Getting to record at Studio G with Jeff Berner and great musicians is always inspiring. That day was vocal day and everyone was coming in to sing their guest spot on the record. We were all in there like one big happy family. 

Allison: It was a real thrill to be asked to sing on this album. I am a big fan of Manny’s artistic pursuits and I love the first Ilithios album, Florist, so I was very excited to work on the second one. It’s been great to be a part of this release. It’s a fun community to hang out and rehearse with. I’m really grateful to be included.

Justin: It’s a real pleasure working with Manny and helping him realize his vision! And what a grand vision it is. As much as it’s very much his thing, he’s really great at letting everyone in the band have their moment in the sun. I’m grateful for him trying to keep things alive in our little NYC scene during the pandemic. He was doing livestreams and outdoor events and trying to find a way to make live music happen during that weird time. I’m happy he asked me to play with him during that time and also happy for what the live band has become.

Ana: Every Bird Ever is really a monumental & beautiful effort on Manny’s part! I felt privileged to be in the orbit of it. I’m sure everyone’s saying it but the studio days we all came in for were so fun. It was like a parade of great buds/Bklyn music favorites. And it was Manny’s birthday weekend! Just a warm hug of a time.

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