This is brand new for 2023 and absolutely magic. It’s lovely, so off-kilter and out of step with the fads ‘n fashions of the day, a bloody-minded and non-conformist ideal that will see it marginalised indefinitely yet should, were the ears of the world more open, see it canonised forever.
The Lemon Twigs – Corner Of My Eye
If you’re looking for pigeonholes and labels you could probably file it under ‘sunshine pop’ or ‘soft rock’ or even ‘easy listening’, but really, it’s all of those things and none. It’s Wrecking Crew-good, just so expertly thought-out, played and put together. The production is the pure ’70s California of analogue desks, coke on the faders and Persian rugs for your bare feet to rest upon, the presentation that of grass-toking multi-instrumentalists with a thing for luscious hair and the Age of Aquarius. And who wouldn’t get behind that?
It’s the voices. Up front, choirboy clear and unashamed. A high falsetto makes itself known immediately and when the counter harmony breezes in, its a pure mesh of soft-focus, golden era Simon and Garfunkel, effortless and highly tuneful. If you’re going to sing it, sing it clear and pure. There’s high art in Lemon Twigs’ craft.
Nylon stringed guitars deliver tumbling and cascading pastoral backing, gently picked, in-the-wee-small-hours quiet, intricate melodies atop a myriad of chords – listen out for the descending, sliding barre chords that carry the song to its ending, just one of the signifiers that this wee tune hasn’t been flung together with nary a thought for the arrangement. The stand up bass that wanders its way through the rich tapestry of melody while the Village Vanguard-evoking brushed drums ease the whole thing to its softly sighing close only reinforces the notion of careful curation. Corner Of My Eye has been slow-marinaded and allowed to gestate before being eased out into the world.
“We recorded this track in the winter of 2021 in our old rehearsal studio in Midtown, NYC. We laid down the vocals late that night once the traffic outside had died down. We’ve had the song for a while now, so we’re excited to share it with fans who may have heard it live over the years.”
The Lemon Twigs, as you may well be aware, have form for this. No strangers to a double tracked guitar solo or a Randy Newmanistic trill on the piano, a Beach Boys-influenced McCartney Rickenbackered bassline or an octave-defying, multivocal harmony, they’ve taken the best parts of all the bands they love and distilled it into their own sound. Less Hanna Barbera than, say, Jellyfish, there’s nothing contrived in their schtick. They play well-crafted and joyous songs really well – just the two of them, mainly, musical brothers and so young with it – wearing their multiple influences on their tank-top sleeves and running with them, the talented bastards.
3 thoughts on “Baroque ‘n Roll”
Spot-on as always. I am also feeling some warm-ish, 70’s lack of Dolby, dbx noise reduction, noise floor tape hiss used in areas. And as for bands it has all the feelz of Carly Simon’s Bond theme mixed with a dash of Andy Partridge and XTC. There is a L-O-T there
And when I say Carly Simon, I think it’s that Marvin Hamish like arranging between voice, then the instruments. So much nostalgia for me.
Yes! Good points of reference! Spot on.
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