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The Lemon Twigs tone things down on Everything Harmony

"Everything Harmony"

Release date: 05 May 2023
The Lemon Twigs -  Everything Harmony cover
05 May 2023, 09:00 Written by Connor Shelton

The Lemon Twigs could have cemented themselves as hyper-pop for classic rock stans.

Their quirky brand of humour, unhinged compositions, and retrograde aesthetic all toed the line between the camp of yesteryear and the irreverence of Gen Z internet spaces – details which explain why some find the band to be irksome (not unlike OTT theatre kids). It’s a brand that doesn’t work for everyone, but you couldn’t fault the sibling act for being dull. On Everything Harmony, however, they’ve somehow managed this effort while pushing themselves toward intriguing new paths.

Before recording their 4th studio album, the D’Addario brothers expressed a desire to make “something really beautiful sounding” and mature. For The Lemon Twigs, this manifesto meant stripping their sound back and showing restraint in their compositions, a fact which is evidenced from the word go. Album opener “When Winter Comes Around” opts for a mostly acoustic soundscape and bare vocals that strain the ears of those who possess a lick of musical talent. It’s a shaky start to the record, but Everything Harmony thankfully finds its footing with “In My Head”, an exuberant slice of sunshine pop that would make Boyce and Hart smile.

While the first third of the LP shows a band more focused than ever, the lack of playfulness proves a detriment going into the middle chunk of Everything Harmony. Songs like “I Don’t Belong To Me” and “What Happens To A Heart” are undeniably well-crafted. However, the lack of stylistic cross-pollination means these acoustic ditties and Spector-esque productions are devoid of the excitement needed for the compositions to stick. Worse still, it seems like The Lemon Twigs lose a bit of their identity here, sounding more like diet-Beach Boys circa 1966 rather than the ungodly amalgamation of indie, power pop, and glam that defined their previous releases.

Though a large swath of the album feels like an overcorrection for where the pair want to go as a group, the third to last track, “Ghost Run Free”, offers hope for fans. It’s an exuberant power pop tune that the group has long perfected, yet there’s also a hint of Rush-like propulsion, new wave guitar tones, and various other minute details that make it sparkle. It feels like a natural extension of what The Lemon Twigs had been doing on their previous records, yet it’s more refined because they’re prioritizing one genre while blending in smaller flavours. It’s a balancing act that the band hasn’t yet fully mastered, but if they want to escape comparisons to acts like The Beatles and Todd Rundgren, The Lemon Twigs need to take this approach. They might otherwise end up in the bargain bin.

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