Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
The opening song on this Lemonade session tries to set a precedent for the way the rest of the affair is going to proceed. There's the kind of light and understated splashing that could come from a bath or a sea that's less than roaring and just lapping against some lazy, worn down boulders. It feels warm and inviting, water that doesn't need trepidation or any toes being dipped into it. Just go head-first and feel it for yourself. This doesn't last for very long, though. Soon thereafter, we realize how misleading these calming waters are. We've been led adrift and we're suddenly getting sucked out and away from the shore, by the current. The peacefulness of the water is getting more pronounced, but the insides are getting more and more freaked out as our connection to dry land is becoming greater and greater.
What never leaves us - in these Lemonade songs - is the sense that we're somewhere slightly tropical, but it still feels a little more industrial-based than we'd normally want our vacation-y jams to be. The beach might consist more of metal shavings or iron filings than just grains of sand. The tropical feel is laced with strange sounds and voices - as if we can't just separate ourselves from the crazy thoughts that voice themselves in our heads, whether we're paying attention or ignoring them as much as we can. Lemonade makes a syncopated rhythm, similar to the one that UK band the Friendly Fires makes, giving off the sense that the confetti cannons could blow at any moment, but there's more of a feeling that there's a long way to go before anything should be celebrated in the lives of the characters in the songs.
Vocalist Callan Clendenin, bassist Ben Steidel, and drummer Alex Pasternak take on the relationship woes of people who are feeling the prickles of new love and of stale love. They're all just prickles and it's hard to make them out. The cries come from afar - as if the pleas for help are being projected from a ways off the coast, while fighting the waves, while feeling the sun scorch your forehead and the top of your scalp. Clendenin sings, "Maybe I've been too much," at one point and it's more of a wonder-struck consideration or question and less of an admittance. The search party is still out there in the tepid waters, hoping to get another dance in.