CD Review: Lemonade's 'Pure Moods' EP
It's readily apparent within the first 30 seconds of Lemonade's second outing, the Pure Moods EP, that this will be something altogether different from the Brooklyn-by-way-of San Francisco trio's debut self-titled record. Still intact is the group's penchant for electronic percussion and big basslines, but those are now paired with singer Callan Clendenin's new vocal approach--one unencumbered by heaps of delay and reverb-- and the band's now more distinct love for all things tropical. Lemonade has also found a soft spot for lighthearted, one could even say romantic, subject matter, which is traded in for the band's initial interests in psychedelic, stream of conscious themes.
"Lifted" is the first single taken from the five-song EP, and seems to best encapsulate Lemonade's growth as a band. The musical backdrop is comprised mostly of sound effects (squishy water droplets, girly giggles, and electronic bass wobbles) set amongst a host of steel drum and marimba sounds that work in tandem with a sparse but cymbal-heavy drum beat. Above it, Clendenin waxes lovesick, singing "I want to dance with someone like you" with his newfound voice. You can tell the melodic approach is still unfamiliar to him, but he has the necessary fervor to one day grow completely into it.
The darker, more familiar songs from Pure Moods, like "Underwater Sonics" and "Remain in Jah," take Lemonade's rave-ready jams to new heights by incorporating the band's knack for building lengthy, expansive soundscapes with the more immediate sounds of island percussion and decipherable lyrics. Before Moods' 30 minutes is up, we're treated to closing track "Sunsplash." It ends everything on a lovable high note that could easily double as the soundtrack for the credits of an island youngster's favorite cartoon. When the song finishes with a shimmering sound effect, you feel content with what you've experienced, but still can't wait for what will happen on the next episode.
Lemonade is playing a live gig Friday, April 30 at The Rickshaw Stop with Solid Gold and Active Child, and you can win free tickets! The first two people to leave a comment with their email address and the name of their favorite song from Lemonade's first album will each win two tickets to the show.