WMSE Presents The Lemon Twigs

October 21, 2024 @ 7:00 pm – 11:45 pm
Shank Hall

Following the release of Everything Harmony, which garnered acclaim from Questlove, Iggy Pop, Anthony Fantano, The Guardian, and countless others, The Lemon Twigs—the New York City rock band fronted by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario—have once again captured the attention of the music listening public. They are in their premature “comeback” stage, and coming back this early has its benefits; the brothers have the energy of 24- and 26- year-olds, plus the experience and songwriting chops of seasoned musicians, having recorded their first album, Do Hollywood, nearly a decade ago at ages 15 and 17.

Set for release less than a year after their last album, A Dream Is All We Know is a joyous affair. As the title suggests, it’s less of a sober look at the darker side of life, and more a hopeful sojourn into the realm of dreams. The tone has shifted away from dreary melancholic ballads and moody power pop. Brian and Michael are revisiting their “1968” sound. This album feels closely related to Do Hollywood, but their songwriting and recording techniques have vastly improved over the course of five albums.

The brothers combine elements of the Merseybeat sound, the California Beach Boy harmony sound, and Bubblegum to create a unique collection of pop nuggets. (They say it’s part of a new “Merseybeach” movement, sure to catch on, though that fact remains to be seen.)

The sense of urgency imbued in lead single “My Golden Years” comes in part from the jangly 12-string guitars and driving drums, but also from the anxiety of a narrator who can feel their “golden years” slipping away from them. Michael’s line, “In time I hope that I can show all the world the love in my mind,” can serve as a statement of intent for the whole collection of songs, as the brothers race against time to create as much quality pop material as possible.

“They Don’t Know How To Fall In Place” propels the album forward into bubblegum paradise with its euphoric harmonies and biting clavinet, while the Roy Wood inspired “Church Bells” takes you on a journey in its two-minute and nine-second run time. At every turn you’re introduced to a new instrument, and as Michael sings “ring goes the bell,” the drummer switches to the bell of the ride cymbal and the song reveals itself as a pop tone poem, complete with cellos, mandolin and trumpets, all played by Brian. Not to mention the fun Mersey pun, using famous drummer Ringo’s name in a song that conflates images of the west side of Manhattan with the atmosphere of northern England. Next comes the titular “A Dream Is All I Know,” an existential space age epic, followed by the baroque pocket-prog of “Sweet Vibration.”   read more

POSTED BY:: Sidney McCain