Our pick of this week's new releases is the incredibly beautiful fourth album from the D'Addario brothers
The Lemon Twigs have outdone themselves. Over their three previous albums, the brothers D’Addario suggested they were inching ever closer to the greatness that inspires them, the brilliance of a Todd Rundgren or Alex Chilton. Everything Harmony is the realisation of all that promise, a record that takes the high points of Go To School, Do Hollywood and Songs For The General Public and hits them song after song for 48 wonderful minutes.
The wistful, acoustic ‘When Winter Comes Around’ opens things by setting neck hairs to attention. It’s a warm, close space and then suddenly the walls and roof get blown off by the biggest drums in existence. It’s a confident start and one you’d probably want to revisit immediately if ‘In My Head’ didn’t show up to keep dragging you onwards. Its widescreen open chords call to mind Radio City-era Big Star, a touchpoint that returns in earnest on the superb ‘What You Were Doing’.
Since their first steps as a band, The Lemon Twigs have been disciples of melody, crafting impossibly pretty songs that draw on everything from showtunes and glam rock to power pop, 70s AM balladry and baroque folk pop. All of those influences are evident again here but they’ve crystalised into a single glittering entity that is all Lemon Twigs. No other band could jump from ‘Born To Be Lonely’, a soul-searching ballad in need of a Broadway musical, to the classic power pop harmonies and sparkling guitars of ‘Ghost Run Free’.
There’s a yearning and sadness woven into Everything Harmony, apparent even from the song titles alone. The counterpoint to that restless melancholia is an album that sounds utterly beautiful from start to finish. The lilting singalong folk of ‘Every Day Is The Worst Day Of My Life’ somehow both alleviates and emphasises the heaviness of that sentiment, repeated over and over as if no further explanation is really necessary.
It’s unlikely you’ll hear a better sounding record in 2023 than Everything Harmony. The band’s devotion to bygone eras of pop and rock music has translated into a lushness in composition, performance and production that just doesn’t exist anymore. If that makes The Lemon Twigs outliers in modern popular music, then that says more about music than it does about them. Is there a purer intention than to just make something beautiful? The Lemon Twigs have done exactly that… and then some.