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L Garden 5 credit Jono White 2 Medium

Lime Garden are defying predictability

16 February 2024, 16:00
Words by Alex Dewing

Original photography by Jono White

Ahead of the release of debut album One More Thing, Lime Garden tells Alex Dewing about their tight-knit friendship and the freedom of experimentation.

Indie-electro act Lime Garden are upside down, frantic hands spinning a video call upright from the front of a cramped tour van.

“We got it,” they laugh, settling back with affable smiles. It’s a fitting introduction for the Brighton-based four-piece who are quick to demonstrate that authenticity isn’t just a buzzword when it comes to describing the group and their music. Completed by vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chloe Howard, lead guitarist Leila Deeley, bassist Tippi Morgan, and drummer Annabel Whittle, Lime Garden are personable, with an open honesty that shines through.

“I guess we’ve all got…” Whittle pauses, searching for the correct, or perhaps polite, word to describe the band, “large personalities,” she finishes, bringing the group to fits of laughter. They fake scream as if in illustration of the non-stop, larger-than-life energy that swells across everything they do: “We’re constantly going to each other ‘ahhh, let’s try this!’”

Lime Garden’s unfiltered approach to life and music is what fills their upcoming debut album One More Thing with joyous relatability and sincerity. Packed with humour and openness, each track is unmistakably infused with their personalities – whether it’s stomping bangers or more delicate ballads. Even in conversation, their infectious energy and candour shimmers. It’s rare to see a band as connected to their music as this. On the slower, sensitive “Pine,” as Howard croons “everyone wants to move on but nobody seems to exist,” the band effortlessly conveys ideas that deeply resonate with their fans. “I think in terms of themes, the album came together very naturally,” Howard muses. “We never set out to do anything specific. They kind of just fell into place.”


While the music of this indie outfit may appear effortlessly captivating, it doesn’t take long to recognise how well-crafted and headstrong the album is. At its core, this is a shared coming-of-age story; interweaving the mundane with the extraordinary, showing that the more specific parts of their lives are still fuelled by emotions and thoughts we’ve all had. Take the cheeky, disco-infused “Pop Star” as an example. While Howard’s dry declaration of “I don’t wanna work my job, ‘cause life is fleeting and I’m a popstar,” speaks directly to Lime Garden’s current situation of juggling day jobs with dreams of full-time music, it also taps into that universal feeling of wanting something beyond the daily grind. It’s one of many moments in One More Thing that might make a listener pause and think: “Yeah… me too.”

“If we weren't as close as we are, then it'd be way harder to just try new stuff,” shares Morgan, reflecting on the band’s tight-knit friendship and the integral role it plays within Lime Garden. With so much of themselves in the album, One More Thing has become a type of audible diary for the band. “Even listening back to it now, I remember exactly what we were doing in Bristol at the time, what we wanted out of the song,” laughs Whittle, reminiscing on a time where they were writing alone, locked up in the pandemic. “It was such an intense period of time for all of us. There were so many feelings, so it's cool to look back.”

Discussing the wilful candidness of the album, Morgan goes on: “We’re vulnerable with lyrics and stuff. I think we definitely have gotten better at that, we used to be a bit more reserved. But as we've gotten older and closer, there's no judgement really.” It’s this friendship that not only imbues their music with resonant authenticity, but also allows for a fearless kind of creativity. “It’s not just the sad stuff but like, the experimental stuff too. The stuff that might be shit or might be amazing,” grins Whittle, setting off another burst of laughter. Composing herself, Howard picks up the thought: "If someone comes to the room with an idea or a concept or some lyrics or something, nothing's closed. I'm going to hear your take on that, and normally it ends up being amazing. So it's through having that openness we've kind of found new ways of making music which is keeping it constantly exciting."

Lime Garden mother pic credit Jono White Medium

It’s this freedom and desire to try new things that keeps Lime Garden and their debut from being easily pinned down – instead bounding across genres with excitement and curiosity. From “Floor” with its hyper-pop influences to the dreamy “I Want To Be You”, it’s clear how much of what they write is inspired by the eclectic mix they listen to – and this diversity makes sense. If their lives, like everyone’s, are multifaceted and messy, why shouldn’t their music be? “Our favourite artists are the ones that are constantly evolving as well. I think we've always aspired to be that, and I feel like we're hopefully always going to be the type of band,” says Howard before Morgan interrupts in agreement: “I think our worst fear is being pinned as one of those bands that is predictable.”

Lime Garden’s collaboration with esteemed producer Ali Chant, celebrated for his work with artists like Perfume Genius and PJ Harvey, proved invaluable in the creation of One More Thing. Many friend groups as tight as this often speak in their own languages – with inside jokes and peculiar turns of phrases. The band speaks to Chant’s skill in not just navigating their language, but channelling it into the music. Whittle highlights the dynamic, stating: “that’s why working with Ali was so good, because he sort of knew when to reign us in a little bit. He would stop us in our tracks and be like ‘Guys, we need to move on, stop chatting,’ and also he would ride that chat as well.”

Despite their fervent love for making and performing music, being an all-woman band in a male-dominated industry does come with challenges. Howard recalls an anxious period when they felt a need to be extremely apologetic all the time, facing imposter syndrome that can only be exacerbated by a green room full of blokes. But, as they're quick to share, they’ve since embraced a different stance. “Now we’re very much like, we deserve to be here,” she asserts. As Lime Garden continues to grow, it’s exciting to see their resilience and refusal to conform to any mould that might be set out for them.

“I feel like as we get older, we’re learning to own the space that we take up in the industry,” Howard continues, a sense of pride washing over them all, before quickly returning to a warm yet confident humility. “We're obviously always grateful for the opportunities that we get, because it's ridiculous that we get to do this but, we're very much knowing and understanding that we're here for a reason.” With a steadfast appreciation for the opportunities they’re taking in their stride, Lime Garden balances an affirming self-confidence that places their presence as an essential to the current musical landscape. As someone’s fingers begin to jab the screen again over a harmony of overlapping goodbyes, it’s interesting to ponder what the future holds for Lime Garden. Whatever follows though, it’ll surely be met with boundless enthusiasm and an easygoing wry joke or two.

One More Thing is out now via So Young Records

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