Comprised of Jayli Wolf and Hayden John Wolf, the Toronto-based electronic music duo Once A Tree have developed a reputation for pairing lyrics that come from deeply personal and hard-fought experience with a sound that defies easy categorization. In fact, their latest single “Lie To Me” pairs skittering percussion, subtle layers of swirling, buzzing and atmospheric synths with Jayli Wolf’s ethereal vocals to create a contemporary electro pop sound that bears an uncanny resemblance to Portishead and Beacon.
And as the band notes in press notes, lyrically the song is influenced by personal experience. As Jayli Wolf explains, “Sometimes the truth is the hardest thing to bare. So hard in fact that you would rather continue not knowing to spare yourself the pain. I was in a relationship that wasn’t healthy. It was the worst relationship I’ve ever been through willingly.
“I don’t know why I stayed; even to this day I can’t rack my brain to figure it out. I just remember the night that I had finally had enough. I told the guy that I was seeing to ‘Lie to me, spare me.’ I didn’t want to hear the excuses, or the dishonesty anymore. I just wanted to walk away and be on my own again. The lyrics for ‘Lie to Me’ were written inspired from that night, when I built up the courage to leave him.” And as such, it gives the song a plaintive, urgency — all while describing a romantic situation that will sound painfully familiar to many.