The Lemon Twigs
“I like the hair when it’s flowy / And I like the song when it’s dreamy / And I’m so obsessed when it’s / Everything harmony,” The Lemon Twigs sing towards the end of their latest album of the same title, a baker’s dozen of superb classic-rock-influenced, harmony-laden numbers. They bear a resemblance to Simon and Garfunkel, of course, but also to the blesséd harmonies of The Beach Boys and the Beatles. If you, like me, thrill at hearing your favorite sounds presented to you in a fresh and exciting manner, (old and new at once,) you may love this throwback album of somber and ecstatic tunes.
If you’ve heard The Lemon Twigs, you already know what to expect. While these tunes might lean a little more on the folk than the rock in their previous albums, it’s another set of songs that, like their past work, rivals the best music to be made in the 60s and 70s. Starting off on a somber note (“There’s a leaf that returns in the fall / that no one can recall / When winter comes around”), a song, like a number of songs on this album, that waits for the second half to introduce the interesting harmonies, it’s a bit of foreshadowing for what to expect on the album.
With a song that just has the words, “Every day is the worst day of my life,” it seems like The Lemon Twigs have been going through the ringer in their lives since their last album. And they render their grief a beautiful and soothing soundtrack. Hard realities in lyrics and heavenly sounds in music is one of the most efficacious configurations of the songwriting art form, and they pull it off wonderfully on a number of their songs.
“In my dreams, I’m a star / And I own the whole building / Nothing was ever enough // In the streets, in the bar / I’m the heavyweight champion / Still it’s not enough,” they sing about the emptiness that remains, even after success. Your heart goes out to the singers of the song, but resonate with the feeling, caught between wanting to comfort them and being grateful that they are communicating their grief.
Some of the songs are so expertly created and sophisticated that they could be in a classic Broadway Musical, some (like “Ghost Run Free”) teeter on the brink of campy. But they never cross the line. This is high art in the music form and the heart matches the art. If you’re upset that your favorite 70s bands have all dissolved and can’t put out any new albums, don’t be too forlorn. Because we have The Lemon Twigs, and they do the genre proud.
Order Everything Harmony by The Lemon Twigs HERE
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