Teenage brothers, Brian & Michael D’Addario, hailing from Long Island, New York, are precociously talented multi-instrumentalists and songwriters who obviously have an insatiable love of pop music, and an irrepressible desire to see how far they can experiment with the form.
Calling themselves The Lemon Twigs, they are about to release their debut album, Do Hollywood, on 4AD Records and, if the two songs released on YouTube to date are anything to go by, it will be an absolute aural adventure for those who are willing to clamp on the headphones and immerse themselves in the D’Addarios’ surrealistic Bizarro-Beach Boys musical realm.
The initial teaser track released back in July, ‘As Long As We’re Together’, is a gem which starts out as if it is a simple acoustic bedsit ballad before some slightly discordant background crooning kicks in and leads into an all in sing-along psychedelic chorus which cannot be resisted. John Lennon meets Wayne Coyne stuff, inventive, melodic and affecting. Magnificent.
Playful, but also reverential, the second song to be released from the album, ’These Words’, presents the listener with yet another master class in how to integrate classic pop forms into something that is both, simultaneously, challengingly different and infectiously catchy.
The accompanying clip, featuring the brothers in 18th century journeymen outfits, straight out of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, duelling literally as well as musically, provides a clever visual metaphor to compliment their approach – traditional, appealingly out of its own time, and yet deliberately off-kilter and totally modern.
A search on YouTube unearths a plethora of live performances recorded over the last two years. The late 2014 version of the band saw them come across as energetic and ambitious, but with a sound that has yet to mature – but one which showed great promise. But it is the shows recorded earlier this month, however, that present the band in breathtaking full flight, and the instantly apparent growth in their complexity, confidence and cohesion has to be seen (and heard) to be believed.
If we get to watch them maintain this rate of evolution, it will be an exhilarating ride. It would mean they will achieve music world domination in just two or three albums’ time…
As it is, such a future is only conjecture as they are yet to release their first disc, but with Jonathan Rado of Foxygen producing their debut, it is certainly shaping up to be a monster first effort.
I can’t wait to hear the rest of what they have to offer!
Do Hollywood is released on Friday 14th October, via 4AD / Remote Control Records.
Reviewed by Ken Grady