With its bright and breezy songcraft, Lime Cordiale’s 14 Steps to a Better You is an album that sounds like the outdoors during summertime; and yet it arrives in the middle of winter when many of us are locked down. It, therefore, just might be the pick-me-up that we need right now.
Blending an energizing array of sounds and traversing genres, the album is packaged up in first-rate production. Across the record you hear a mix of guitars, brass, Casio-style keys and even a kazoo solo. And it all works really well, due mainly to the act’s confident songwriting skills and penchant for the irresistible hook.
2019 built some steady momentum for Lime Cordiale, releasing a number of singles that now form the architecture for this sophomore LP; and none more so than the eponymous ‘Robbery’, which here finds a home among equally catchy tracks. Alongside other previously released songs, there are new gems that are similarly strong, such as the loungey, minimalist opener, ‘That’s Life’, ‘On Our Own’, with its dreamy synth-laden chorus, and the easy groove of final track, ‘Following Fools’.
With everything sounding so sunny, you could be forgiven for assuming that Lime Cordiale’s songs might be lyrically light, but this is not the case. Listen close and you’ll hear a pleasing variety in the focus of the tracks. While leading singles ‘Robbery’ and ‘Inappropriate Behaviour’ may cover familiar pop territory, dealing in the vicissitudes of relationships, other tracks veer into more varied terrain, such as political apathy on ‘Addicted to the Sunshine’ or that very Australian love-hate relationship with the UK on ‘Dear London’ (which includes a soundscape of driving rain).
Whether or not it will actually lead to self-improvement, 14 Steps to a Better You delivers 14 tracks that will, at the very least, make you feel better as we live through this very strangest of winters.
14 Steps to a Better You is released tomorrow.
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor
Picture supplied, credit: Jack Shepherd